Fagus House and The Botanist

Having a Friday off is amazing, especially when you’re off to Arisaig for a wedding with the Gin Club. That Friday was also the day we stopped into the Bruichladdich offices to chat to Lynne McEwan about The Botanist.

After discovering that Lynne’s Dad was the genius behind The Botanist and hearing all about the Gin itself along with their newly branded bottle, it was time to accept a generous gift and get our skates on. On the walk home there was just enough time to pick up some more Gin (you can never have too much), the selection being Ophir, which has flavours of pepper and cardamom, followed by enough Fever-Tree tonic to cater for the whole wedding and something else which I hadn’t tried yet – a pre-mix Fentimens G&T which uses Bloom. I also had to pack my homemade infusion Gin which had been flavoured with lemon grass and ginger (a tiny bit of rosemary in there too).

I love driving up the West Coast, the road from Glasgow to Fort William is incredible. Glencoe must be one of the few places on earth where you want to remain at 40mph, as the scenery, regardless of how many times you have seen it or how cloudy it is, is still spectacular enough to make you slow down and look out the window (and nearly crash your car – as I almost did).


Arriving at Arisaig was just as spectacular; an old private house, castle like in design – as are so many other noble Scottish houses, with a view out over the Sound of Arisaig. Caldo and I had a wee cottage which we were to share with the photographers Eve and Chris, who also came prepared with Gin, mixers and garnish. I won’t say what Gin they brought as it’s verging on breaking the rules….

The night started with Caldo and I enjoying The Botanist on our balcony overlooking a view of the Sound. I can safely say that Bruichladdich has produced something magical with this creation. Not only does the Gin play to my citrus loving palate (that might also have something to do the grapefruit I garnished it with), but it was a perfect match for the location at which it was being enjoyed – the shoreline of the West Coast. It’s an incredibly lovely Gin, as the night goes on you start to notice more and more of the flavours in there. The Gin also embodies the brand. Bruichladdich isn’t a classic distillery, the branding alone shows that they are modern in their vision. There is no pretence in the drinking of their products.  That’s a pet hate of mine, distillers that still treat their products as if it’s the 1940s and that they should only be enjoyed by people drinking from a nosing glass that will dissect the aroma, body and palate of the spirit. Don’t get me wrong I agree with tasting Gin and appreciating the notes and flavours which characterise each Gin but The Botanist proves that it’s an accomplished drink – do it justice, drink the thing and enjoy it.

I love their tasting notes, “Finish: All this from a beaten up old pot still, operated by beaten up distillers on the coast of heaven”. Well it tastes magical and we were drinking it on the coast of heaven at the best of events with the best of company.

Thank you Botanist.


(Caldo with The Botanist – New Bottle)

Squirrel: Gin Club

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