The Botanist.

Wild. Foraged. Distilled.

22
Foraged Island Botanicals
The first and only Islay dry gin

WILD ISLAY. THE HEBRIDEAN ISLAND HOmE OF THE BOTANIST CLINGS TO THE EDGE OF THE OCEAN IN THE TEETH OF ATLANTIC WEATHER SYSTEmS.

22 FORAGED ISLAND BOTANICALS. HAND-PICKED LOCALLY AND SUSTAINABLY HERE ON ISLAY BY OUR OWN BOTANICAL SCIENTISTS.

PROGRESSIVE HEBRIDEAN DISTILLERS. THE BOTANIST IS THE ESSENCE OF OUR PHILOSOPHY, OUR ART AND OUR PIONEERING SPIRIT.

The Lomond Still

14th March 2014
by The Botanist Editor in Distillation.

"An oversized, upside-down dustbin made of copper" is how Tom Morton describes it in his excellent book "Spirit of Adventure". Developed after the Second World War, the Lomond was an experimental cross between a column and a pot still designed to meet the growing demand for single malts.

It was designed as a cunning "one-stop-shop" still by chemical engineer Alistair Cunningham and draftsman Arthur Warren in 1955...
... neither of whom can have been great aesthetes - as a way to create a variety of whisky styles. Key to the design was the ugly, thick, column-like neck. This could have three extra removable sections inserted for flexibility, imitating the effect of different still "neck" lengths.

One section housed three rectifying plates, or baffles, that increased or decreased the reflux action. These plates, like Roman blinds, could be opened in varying degrees from a horizontal to the vertical position. Correspondingly, the removable neck sections could lengthen or shorten the height of the neck, thus varying the angle of the lyne arm - upward for a slightly lighter whisky, downward for a heavier one.

The first Lomond, an 11,600 litre capacity spirit still built by Ramsden, was installed by 1959 at Inverleven, Glasgow. This was a functional single malt distillery shoe-horned in to a utilitarian red brick building, tucked away in a corner of the huge Dumbarton grain distillery complex, at the confluence of the Clyde and Leven rivers.

Recovered by Duncan MacGillivray from Inverleven, the still was transported down the Clyde by barge, around the Mull of Kintyre and finally to Islay, where it berthed at Port Ellen before making its last journey to Bruichladdich.

Inspiration. How does it come about? At which moment did our former master distiller Jim McEwan realise that this extraordinarily ugly, ungainly copper tub had potential to distil such a sublime, delicate gin?

Perhaps it was his realisation that it was designed to run slowly, at low pressure; designed to be modified; designed with the distiller’s creativity woven into the very fabric of its structure.

What if?

Related

Articles

Forager Profile - Ellen Zachos

"I recently found out that an interest in mixology is in my genes..."  Ellen Zachos, author of new book "The Wildcrafted Cocktail" shares some of her personal story and perspectives as a forager in America.

Read more

The Mayflower

The month of May has seen an branch-drooping display of the Hawthorn blossom across Islay and apparently across a lot of the UK.

Read more

Fern or Foe

Fiddlehead ferns are seemingly all the rage in farmers markets, especially in the United States.

Read more

Foraged Drinks
Ashley's Collins

This Tom Collins is made floral with fresh elderflower syrup instead of sugar syrup, and a rowan blossom garnish.

Read more

Woodland Witch

20ml The Botanist Gin 20ml Sherry 20 ml Lemon Juice 20ml Woodland Cordial 5ml Cowboy Absinthe

Read more

Pink Gin #22

50 ml The Botanist Gin infused with kale 20 ml Riesling infused with Dulse

Read more

Our Foraging
Here and Now - Winter

A rolling photo essay exploring what's about us at the distillery this week.

Read more

Sea lettuce

Like a lettuce of the sea -  this is a great one to have one your foraging list whether you are a beginner or an experienced salty sea dog.

Read more

Events

The Gin festival experience

Find us at The Gin festival experience at Abbay du Val-saint-Lambert in Seraing, Belgium.

Read more

Gin Sunday

We'll be present at the second edition of the free festival Gin sunday which will take place in Havana distribution at Kontichsesteenweg

Read more

Sampling at John Lewis, Oxford Street, London

Looking for the  chance to combine our two favourite things Gin and shopping?

Read more