Adam is an Ileach – a man born and raised on the Scottish island of Islay. He was a teenager in that difficult decade of distillery closures and island depopulation. After school he left briefly to study in Aberdeen, but the call of his island home was strong and he soon returned.
Nineteen years ago, when he was starting out, Adam was part of the team welcoming visitors to the distillery. He enjoyed sharing the knowledge of the craftsmen he was working with and soon became fascinated with how they create and control the finest flavours in the spirits.
Adam’s infectious enthusiasm and strong work ethic was encouraged by Jim McEwan. Recognising his remarkable nose and palate, Jim quickly invited Adam to work alongside him. He has been intimately involved in every distillation of The Botanist since the inaugural run in 2010.
The intricate craft of creating The Botanist is a task that can only be undertaken by the most skilled of artisan distillers. Adam and Production Director, Allan Logan, first macerate the nine core botanicals in a combination of neutral grain spirit and Octomore spring water. What follows is a slow simmer distillation in the uniquely modified Lomond Still, affectionately nicknamed Ugly Betty. Adam then adds a muslin bag of the 22 Islay botanicals in a special chamber attached to the lyne arm of Ugly Betty, infusing the spirit with rich aromas as it passes through – giving The Botanist its complex flavour profile.
“When distilling The Botanist, we are creating something more than a gin. The Botanist is a representation of the place we are from. We use the art of distillation and a connection to the land, our home, to create a wonderful spirit that speaks of the place it is made.”