The Botanist

Wild. Foraged. Distilled

Conceived, distilled and hand crafted at Bruichladdich Distillery, THE BOTANIST is the first and only gin from the wild Hebridean Island of Islay.

Built be the Harvey brothers in 1881, the distillery faced many challenges throughout the years. But in 2000, a private consortium of investors purchased the semi-derelict distillery.

This group of visionaries saw Bruichladdich not as an outdated, inefficient throwback in desperate need of modernisation, but as a remarkable opportunity to make whisky the traditional way. In a serendipitous moment, they persuaded the world-renowned distiller Jim McEwan to join them in what they were to later describe as “a white-knuckle ride.”

Brash, noisy, combative and controversial, Bruichladdich looked and sounded very different to the traditional whisky company.

The birth of Jim’s idea for an Islay gin was then protracted. The Botanist was then distilled in 2011 for the first time.



Adam Hannet / Master Distiller

Adam Hannett

Head Distillersince 2015

Brought up on Islay, Adam left the island to go to university but soon returned and began working as a tour guide at Bruichladdich, which is where he claims his education really began.

Adam quickly moved from the visitor centre to become a warehouseman, mashman, and then stillman, before being appointed Head Warehouseman. His hard-working ethos and natural skills as a blender soon caught the eye of Jim McEwan, and he began a long apprenticeship, shadowing the Master Distiller as he monitored the maturation of whiskies in the warehouses.

In 2015, when Jim retired, Adam Hannett became head distiller at Bruichladdich, the man now ultimately responsible for the quality of spirits at the Progressive Hebridean Distillery.

Allan Logan / Production Director

Allan Logan

Production Directorsince 2015

Our distillery manager is the fourth generation of his family to make whisky on Islay, and describes distilling as: “embedded deep in our very DNA.”

Allan joined Bruichladdich when the distillery rose from the dead in 2001, and soon became involved in every aspect of coaxing the old Victorian machinery back to life. Working with his mentor Jim McEwan, he quickly rose to become Production Director when Jim retired in 2015.


  • 1881

    The brothers William, Robert and John Harvey

    Bruichladdich distillery was revolutionary when it was built in 1881. It was created by the Harvey brothers – enthusiastic and entrepreneurial young members of a Glasgow whisky dynasty.

  • 1994

    The brothers fell out, and poor management, prohibition, the depression and two world wars saw it change ownership. The distillery closed in 1994.

  • 2001

    After a period of closure the now semi-derelict distillery was purchased in 2000 by a group of private investors – including Simon Coughlin Bruichladdich CEO, who saw a unique opportunity in the old fashioned plant. The first whisky distillation was to happen in 2001.

  • 2005 - 2010

    The Lomond still is discovered at Inverleven distillery. It is carried back to Bruichladdich distillery to be modified to distill Islay's first gin. It was to be almost five years before the initial conception resulted in a full-scale distillation: five years of exploration, discussion, experimentation and modification.

  • 2010

    Jim McEwan, Adam Hannett and Allan Logan ran the first distillation. They are amazed by the quality of the gin they had just created…