All Gins from Iceland

Gin Reviews

Vor Barrel Aged Gin


Vor Gin is composed of an entirely, and uniquely Icelandic, assortment of botanicals ranging from the trendy (Thyme) to the obscure (kale). It’s base spirit is composed of also Icelandic Barley, and for their barrel aged variant, ultimately it is rested in an oak barrel— that I suspect owing to the lack of oak, the barrel may not be locally coopered— but alas, it’s Icelandic and barrel aged. And it’s a gin that we were quite a fan of on its own, so how does it stand up after a gentle rest?

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Gin Reviews

Ísafold Gin


From one of the oldest and biggest breweries in Iceland, Ísafold Gin has a relatively nondescript appearance. It’s hard not to immediately see it and think “bargain brand.” Situated on the bottom shelf and available in plastic containers 200 ml all the way up to a full liter, it’s the most inexpensive gin I saw while in Iceland. But despite this, this relatively understated gin with very little information available on it; there’s no story nor mythos. No hidden water sources nor endemic flora inside. It manages to surprise and be a solid dry gin that ticks all of the boxes for gin at a reasonable price point.

Tasting Notes

A highly volatile nose that comes on suddenly before quickly dissipating delivers with a pleasant accord of juniper, pine, lemon and orange. Quiet underneath, it’s a pleasant smelling classic style gin.

The palate adds some roundness to the nose, with coriander, and baking spice making way before the citrus comes in later.

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Gin Reviews

Vor Gin


Terroir, the notion that place imbues the plants grown in a certain place with a unique character; or rather the idea that the climate that a plant experiences, the conditions of the soil, the time of the year, the sun, so and so forth, can alter that character of that which you grow in a certain place is backed up by innumerable chemistry journal articles which analyze the essential oil characteristics of such gin staples as angelica, juniper and coriander.  For this piece we’ll call this terroir type I. 

But a further more obvious aspect of terroir is often at play in gins such as Vor. What grows around you natively is perhaps the most readily identifiable aspect of a place’s regional food culture. The same soil conditions that can cause juniper to contain different quantities of linalool also dictates why crowberry or a kind of moss grows in Iceland and nowhere else. And why you might not be able to grow Tapioca in a northern clime, or banana. For this piece we’ll call this terroir type II. 

Vor gin is a gin which uses both affects to delirious effect. And it’s far from just a gimmick: the combination of the two creates a gin which is wholly like anything else out there.

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