Flavours and Aromas in The Botanist

IN

21st December 2021 / by

The Botanist is famed for its versatility and complexity. Its 31 botanical ingredients mean there’s a wealth of subtle flavours that drinkers and bartenders can go on to pull out according to their preference.

It’s not chaos though! Plants the world over have features in common, characteristics which connect them, even at a chemical level, which gives them their taste and smell – it’s all organic chemistry. The Botanist’s 31 botanicals  come from 14 plant families, so there are clear foundations on which the harmony of the spirit is built, and which future pairings can extend.

Read more detail about the flavours and the botanicals they come from here, as grouped together by the head distiller Adam, who writes the taste notes, and James the forager, who prepares the foraged Islay plants. Floral, Fresh, Citrus, Sweet, Herbal, Spicy, Bitter Aromatic, Earthy, it is literally all in there. Slaìnte!

Floral

  • Elderflower (flowers) SAMBUCUS NIGRA Family: Moschatel

Aroma / Taste: Very fragrant, floral and heady like muscat grapes, a scent of summer

  • Hawthorn (flowers) CRATAEGUS MONOGYNA Family: Rose

Aroma / Taste: Deep and musky, rather complicated scent with a nutty flavour

  • Red Clover (flowers) TRIFOLIUM PRATENSE Family: Pea

Aroma / Taste: Bright floral aroma with violet hints. A mild sweet taste

  • White Clover (flowers) TRIFOLIUM REPENS Family: Pea

Aroma / Taste : Sweet and vegetal scent with a taste like pea shoots

  • Lady’s Bedstraw (flowers and stalks) GALIUM VERUM Family: Bedstraw

Aroma / Taste: Strong honeyed scent of freshly mown hay, bitter to taste but with a hint of vanilla

  • Meadowsweet (flowers) FILIPENDULA ULMARIA Family: Rose

Aroma / Taste: Heady sweet medicinal scent with a bitter medicinal taste like root beer

  • Heather (flowers) CALLUNA VULGARIS Family: Heather

Aroma / Taste: Subtle sweet woody, mossy scent with an earthy and floral taste

Fresh

  • Spearmint (leaves) MENTHA SPICATA Family: Mint

Aroma / Taste: Strong sweet mint aroma with a clean minty taste

  • Applemint (leaves) MENTHA x VILLOSA Family: Mint

Aroma / Taste: Fruity aroma with nuances of apples and tangerines, minty flavour

  • Watermint (leaves and flowers) MENTHA AQUATICA Family: Mint

Aroma / Taste: Strong medicinal mint aroma, taste of buttery mint

  • Chamomile (leaves, stalks, and flowers) CHAMAEMELUM NOBILE Family: Daisy

Aroma / Taste: Sweet and fruity scent, resembling the smell of apples. Delicate sweet and floral taste

Citrus

  • Orange (peel) CITRUS x SINENSIS Family: Rue

Aroma / Taste: A bitter and deep citrus flavour

  • Lemon (peel) CITRUS x LIMON Family: Rue

Aroma / Taste: Bitter, tart, citrus flavour

  • Lemonbalm (leaves) MELISSA OFFICINALIS Family: Mint

Aroma / Taste: A gentle scent of lemon and mint with a strong bitter lemon flavour

Sweet

  • Gorse (flowers) ULEX EURORPAEUS Family: Pea

Aroma / Taste: A distinctive coconut and honey scent and tastes like bittersweet pea shoots

  • Creeping Thistle (flowers) CIRSIUM ARVENSE Family: Daisy

Aroma / Taste: Heavy, rich, honey scent when in flower. Flower tastes like artichokes, the stems like cucumber

  • Licorice (root) GLYCYRRHIZA GLABRA Family: Pea

Aroma / Taste: Subtle, light sweetness akin to icing sugar,  adds smooth mouthfeel to gin

  • Sweet Cicely (leaves and stem) MYRRHIS ODORATA Family: Carrot

Aroma / Taste: Strong aniseed scent. Sweet, strong aniseed taste.

Herbal

  • Wild Thyme (flowers) THYMUS POLYTRICHUS Family: Mint

Aroma / Taste: Herbaceous and slightly floral aroma. A piney, peppery taste, with bitter,s lightly lemony and minty notes.

  • Juniper (token leafy sprig) JUNIPERUS COMMUNIS Family: Cypress

Aroma / Taste: The plant smells like conifer and pine, eaten is a bitter green

  • Juniper (berries) JUNIPERUS COMMUNIS Family: Cypress

Aroma / Taste:  Bitter flavour, pine, cedar aroma and taste.

  • Mugwort (flowers and leaves) ARTEMISIA VULGARIS Family: Daisy

Aroma / Taste: Powerful, fresh and unique aroma with a cooling taste somewhere between mint and rosemary

Spicy

  • Downy Birch (leaves) BETULA PUBESCENS Family: Birch

Aroma / Taste: Slight peppery green tea scent and taste

  • Cinnamon (bark) CINNAMOMUM VERUM Family: Laurel

Aroma / Taste: Drier, woodier and more subtle flavour to cassia bark

  • Cassia (bark) CINNAMOMUM CASSIA Family: Laurel

Aroma / Taste: Sweet, woody, spiced flavour. Warming and aromatic.

  • Coriander (seed) CORIANDRUM SATIVUM Family: Carrot

Aroma / Taste: Citrussy and spicy, with a subtle floral flavour

Bitter Aromatic

  • Bog Myrtle / Sweet Gale (leaves and green stems)  MYRICA GALE Family: Myrtle

Aroma / Taste: Strong aroma, similar to camphor and eucalyptus. Bitter and astringent taste

  • Woodsage (leaves) TEUCRIUM SCORODONIA Family: Mint

Aroma / Taste: A fresh green and earthy/rocky aroma. Deep, meaty bitterness to taste

  • Tansy (leaves) TANACETUM VULGARE Family: Daisy

Aroma / Taste: A unique herbaceous scent with a strong bitter taste

Earthy

  • Orris (root) IRIS FLORENTINA Family: Iris

Aroma / Flavour: Earthy, dusty sweetness similar to hay/grass. Subtle sweet floral aroma.

  • Angelica (root) ANGELICA ARCHANGELICA Family: Carrot

Aroma / Flavour: Earthy, woody, dry flavour. Slightly bitter and herbal similar to wormwood.

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