All Gins from Sweden

Gin Reviews

Gothenburg Gin

goteborg-gin

Aficionados of whiskey may be familiar with the name Svenska Eldvatten, who are well known for being both a bottler and producer of whiskey products. Gothenburg gin launched in April 2015 with a goal of being a local gin. We’ve seen some pretty good gins come out of Sweden in the past few years, so the arrival of Gothenburg gin is an exciting new arrival on our shelf. Let’s see how it tastes:

Impressions

The sterling nose glimmers with classic gin notes: angelica, juniper and citrus. The top notes cry out “gin,” while the lower notes are a little bit more laden with fumes and ethanol.

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Gin Reviews

Hernö Juniper Cask Gin

Hernö Juniper Cask Gin

Every now and then, we see a gin which does something so crazy, it absolutely blows our mind.  Before we even get it into our glass.

When I hear about Herno distillery’s intention to age gin in a cask made out of juniper wood, I was absolutely boggled. Firstly, and pardon this preconception held by those of us who mostly encounter these small little garden variety junipers, with scraggly winding branches that peel and flake. All in all, I didn’t think you could do anything with the bark whatsoever.

The peoples of Europe have long used juniper; however, it wasn’t quite valued as a wood product. Juniper wood has issues with the way it knots, the type of grain, and its has only come back into vogue as a source of lumber due to technology which can mitigate some of these defects. Let me quote from sawmill which specializes in juniper some of the reasons why juniper isn’t usually used for casks, and can be cost-prohibitive to do so:

“The answer is to accept juniper for what it is.  It is beautiful, local and challenging.  It is not easy, normal or boring. 

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Gin Reviews

Hernö Navy Strength Gin

herno-navy-strength

This is the second gin from Hernö brenneri and the northernmost distillery gin distillery up in Dala, Sweden. We previously reviewed their 41% Swedish Excellence Gin.

Northernmost Navy What?

Q. If there was a Navy, let’s say hypothetically, would they be operating anything other than icebreakers?

A. Well, let’s dispel this notion. In theory, the nearest large city to Dala, Härnösand is known as a Harbor city, and its climate, while cool, is similar to Buffalo, NY. While this is the northermost gin distillery, it’s not so northern that a Navy – in theory – couldn’t operate out of the town where it is distilled. So dispel the notion that this is a spatial anachronism of sorts. On to the drink!

Tasting Notes on the World’s Northermost Navy Strength Gin The nose is a bit different than the lower proof batch. A little bit more emphasis on the floral, and a decidedly pronounced bit of heat. You can tell that this is going to pack some strength just from the scent.

The palette emphasizes some different notes as well. Up front, quiet on the lips. Takes half a second for the intensity to build.

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Gin Reviews

Hernö Swedish Excellence Gin

herno-swedish-gin

My love for the great white north of any continent has left me with a somewhat peculiar fascination for the “as far north as you can go” concept. I’ve spent hours pouring over sites such as the “Route de la Baie James” site counting the mile markers of the Transtaiga Highway through other people’s photographs.

So of course when a gin says it is made at the world’s northernmost distillery, you’ve caught my sense of fantasy.  Hernö gin is made in Dala, just outside the city of Härnösand, Sweden. Coat of arms right below.

Unusual Botanical Alert! Two botanicals not often seen in gin appear in Hernö gin.

Meadowsweet: Has a subtle. pleasant aroma, sort of similar to almond. Used in wines, jams and potpourri, but most pertinent to the gin Meadowsweet is traditional component of Scandinavian Meads. Lingonberries: also known as Cowberry in the states, this tart, currant-like berry is probably best known as the red jam sold in every Ikea everywhere.

Tasting Notes: a hint of juniper and an astringent berry-like flavor. Sweet smelling, not too intense. The taste is complex with an emphasis on fruity notes.

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Gin Reviews

Nils Oscar Tärnö Gin

nils oscar tarno gin

This is the first Swedish gin I’ve had the pleasure of tasting. And if all Swedish Gins are this interesting, it is a country whose gin culture I desperately need to spend more time getting acquainted with.

Jag Dricker Gin! Jag Kommer från New York City! [and that is the end of the Swedish I know. To all of my Swedish friends, please forgive me for this brief aside]

Experiencing Swedish Gin The nose has a floral and fruity hint, with just a hint of juniper.

The taste is a bit fruity, but with plenty of juniper. There’s a bit of citrus that hits you at first before making way for a earthy juniper punch. A bit of heat hits you, but quickly parts leaving the palette with a fresh juniper finish. Hints of a sweet fruitiness linger long after the sip. The fruity notes to me had a slight strawberry character.

The overall character was rather nicely balanced. While its profile seems to fit the contemporary style, it has one foot squarely in the classic camp. There’s a characteristic dryness and warmth to the juniper here that at times hints at London Dry, but it has enough unique fruity notes to differentiate itself.

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