Goral Borovička

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Many Borovička distilleries lay claim to a long history. But the team behind Goral Borovička traces their distilling tradition back to the 17th century and before.

Located on a plot of land just adjacent to a nearly thousand-year-old castle, records show that by 1746 they were operating at full capacity. The distillery was restored under Polish occupation of the castle and the distillery’s bones still exist today beneath the castle. Though Goral Borovička is not distilled on several centuries old equipment, the Goral family sees their spirits as part of a long tradition in Stará Ľubovňa.

Goral Borovička is distilled from a base of juniper and what Americans would describe as “organically grown” wheat.

Tasting Notes

The nose has a slight citrusy aroma to it. Slight hint of brandy underneath, reminiscent of un-aged grape brandy. 

I find the aroma has some hints of green juniper, and heavy green plant leaves. Slightly like tearing a heavy green oak leaf in two after a summer rain. Hints of lemon and lime underneath as well as a slight brandy-like funk and edge to it. Of all the Borovicka I’ve tried, this one on the nose most reminds me of a Steinhager style juniper brandy.

A hint of vanilla and hay like wheat spirit aroma leads into a grassy, piney mid-palate. Warmth ushers things out. 

Early on, there’s a bit of residual base spirit character and texture. Goral Borovička leads with this note that suggests a red winter wheat vodka or the like.

The palate then builds. Pine and traditional juniper notes build, but there’s a hint of caraway in the background. That caraway note hovers in the background through the finish. The green pine notes become a bit more waxy and herbaceous. Then a gentle warmth ushers in a moderate length finish.


Like some other borovička I’ve tasted, the palate is far more pleasing than the nose. I really like the herbal complexity suggested by Goral Borovička. Although less aromatically complex than most gins, there’s some intriguing moments that will appeal to fans of spice-forward contemporary style gins who like to sip their gins neat.

International Gin Exchange

Since 2010, David T. Smith U.K. based gin writer— creator of Summer Fruit Cup and author behind 2018’s Tales of the Cocktail nominated Gin Tonica— has been sharing samples of spirits that I can’t obtain stateside.

Thanks to him for this sample!

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