Scottish gin distillery named in Lonely Planet's top travel trends for 2017

Lonely Planet has named visiting micro-distilleries as one of its top travel trends for 2017 and one of Scotland's gin distilleries has made it into the top ten global destinations to visit.

Published 25th Oct 2016
Updated 20 th Sep 2023

Islay gin, the Botanist, was named alongside Japan's legendary Yoichi distillery and Ireland's first craft distillery Glendalough Distillery, as one of the top ten micro-distilleries around the world to visit in the latest edition of Lonely Planet's Best in Travel Guide 2017.

Technically a micro-distillery within a whisky distillery - The Botanist is made at Bruichladdich's site on Islay - Lonely Planet recommend trying out the brand's full warehouse experience for an "insight into the distilling process and philosophy".

The Botanist is described as a small-batch, artisanal Islay gin created using nine of the classic gin aromatics and 22 locally foraged botanicals native to the island, and distilled in their unique Lomond pot-still, affectionately named by former head distiller Jim McEwan as 'Ugly Betty'.

Craig Johnstone, a former brand development manager at Bruichladdich Distillery who recently appeared on the recent TV show 'Scotch! The Story of Whisky' and now works as a distiller at Lark Distillery in Tasmania, thinks everyone should visit the distillery at least once:  "To see a distillery so entrenched in its local community is something unusual these days. Bruichladdich embraces and epitomises Islay with everything they do.

"To also experience the sights and smells of their gin distillation is a sensory overload, and gaining advice on where to forage for their 22 native Islay botanicals for The Botanist from the shop staff is an experience in itself and a brilliant excuse to explore Islay off the beaten track."

Head of communications at Bruichladdich, Carl Reavey, was delighted that The Botanist was included in the guide, he said: “We are always delighted to greet fellow wanderers interested in an introduction to Ugly Betty, the rather lumpen lady in which The Botanist, the first and only Islay dry gin is created. In 2017, we intend to introduce Botanist-focussed tours.

"Anyone visiting us and quoting The Lonely Planet Guide to Micro-distilleries will definitely get a free B&T. Slainte!”


Driven by a passion for all things drinks-related, Sean writes for The Scotsman extensively on the subject. He can also sometimes be found behind the bar at the world famous Potstill bar in Glasgow where he continues to enhance his whisky knowledge built up over 10 years advising customers from all over the world on the wonders of our national drink. Recently, his first book was published. Dubbed Gin Galore, it explores Scotland's best gins and the stories behind those that make them.
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