This year the famous Torridon Whisky Bar has grown not only in quality single malts but also in premium gins, the collection having increased from around ten to almost 30 gins from different countries.
Currently we have gins from England, France, Spain, Germany, America, and of course Scotland. My favourite of the Scottish gins, The Botanist, comes from Islay and fittingly for a whisky bar, hails from the Bruichladdich distillery.
The Botanist was launched in 2010 as a limited edition release of just 15,000 bottles. This could be because the spirit takes 17 hours to distill which is four times longer than the average distilling time for single malts.
The Botanist contains a recipe of 31 botanicals, 22 of which (including juniper) are sourced from Islay itself. All of these botanicals are hand-picked by two trained botanists, hence the name.
The list of native botanicals includes Apple Mint Birch leaves, Bog Myrtle leaves, Chamomile (sweet), Creeping Thistle flowers, Elder flowers, Gorse flowers, Heather flowers, Hawthorn flowers, Juniper berries, Lady’s Bedstraw flowers, Lemon Balm, Meadow Sweet, Peppermint leaves, Mugwort leaves, Red Clover flowers, Sweet Cicely leaves, Tansy, Thyme leaves, Water Mint leaves, White Clover, Cassia bark and Wood Sage leaves.
If you like your gins dry, fruity and with a hint of spice, this could be the gin for you. It is not a bottle that you are likely to find in every bar but, so far, all who have dared to try something a bit different from their usual Bombay or Hendricks have loved it. The Botanist is perfect in a martini, over ice, or mixed with Fevertree Tonic with lots and lots of lime.