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Whisky distillery launches first Islay gin

Gin has been distilled on the famous whisky island of Islay for the first time.

Privately owned Bruichladdich distillery, renowned for its Islay single malts, has produced a gin flavoured by an unprecedented 31 different botanicals (including a rare subspecies of juniper) with twenty two of the botanicals harvested from the wilds of the Hebridean island itself.

Jim McEwan, master distiller said: “Our aim was to produce a genuine artisanal Islay gin - not simply a re-badged, centrally-produced spirit. This has genuine Islay provenance, real authenticity - even historical precedence.”

Illicit hebridean distillers frequently used local botanicals such as bog myrtle and juniper to improve the taste of poorly distilled whisky.  A 17th century recipe for ‘usquebaugh’ includes several botanicals used in the Islay gin.

The first release of 2,500 cases (6/1) will be bottled at Bruichladdich at 46% without chill-filtration, with Islay spring water, and will be available from the end of September. RRP £28.

The gin - distilled according to the regulations for London Dry Gin - is one for ‘real gin-lovers’. Juniper and citrus notes are at the fore but there is a whole lot more going on – as you’d expect from this amazing botanical mix. We await with interest to see the bottle design for this rather special new gin.

The botanicals:

Angelica root *

Apple Mint

Birch leaves

Bog Myrtle leaves

Cassia bark *

Chamomile (sweet)

Cinnamon bark *

Coriander seed *

Creeping Thistle flowers

Elder flowers

Gorse flowers

Heather flowers

Hawthorn flowers

Juniper (prostrate) berries

Juniper berries *

Lady’s Bedstraw flowers

Lemon Balm

Lemon peel *

Liquorice root *

Meadow Sweet

Orange peel *

Oris root *

Peppermint leaves

Mugwort leaves

Red Clover flowers

Sweet Cicely leaves


Thyme leaves

Water Mint leaves

White Clover

Wood Sage leaves


* = Non Islay Botanical


1 August 2010 - Felicity Murray