Hernö Brenneri is located in the scenic east lands of Sweden in Härnösand, and if you haven’t heard their name in the world of gin, you’re missing one of the most creative and accomplished gin-first distilleries, no just in Sweden, but in the world.
Hernö Batch 1 is Hernö Gin’s contribution to That Boutique-y Gin Company’s introductory line of spirits which feature experiments, sketches, and novel creations from some of the world’s best and most creative distilleries. Of the Grace J. Ward illustrations on all of the Boutique-y Gin Company’s bottles, this one might be my favorite which seems to show the team building barrels out of juniper bark for their Juniper Cask Aged Gin.
The nose is quite floral, even more so than some other gins in the Hernö line. Hernö Batch 1 has some heady top notes of violet, pine blossoms and tart berry; with a slight, sweet, pollen-dusted hint of honeysuckle.
The spirit has a lovely richness and warm, thick mouthfeel. Pine and pine-forward juniper early, with custard, cranberry and coriander notes merging mid-palate. Towards the end, there’s a beautiful note of fresh blueberry jam with a hint of huckleberry in there as well. Vividly suggestive of jam.
The finish is medium length with a dusty hint of Lingonberry, Honeysuckle and Rose. Unusual, but immediately recognizable as Hernö to me. Hernö Batch 1 doesn’t radically reinvent the formula that has made Hernö Gin such a successful gin, however, connoisseurs will certainly appreciate the pine blossom and berry jam note which makes this gin worth a closer look.
The Hernö Gins I’ve always thought have been excellent in the Gin and Jam cocktail which I share the recipe for in my book GIN: The Art and Craft of the Artisan Revival; but let’s not suggest that it only works in that. I also enjoy how it combines with the bright flavor of fresh citrus and think that it’s more of a candidate for a stellar Aviation or Last Word. Though really, the Martini is good as well.
I prefer Hernö Batch 1 as a cocktail gin to a mixed drink gin, and although the Gin and Tonic is perfectly fine, I think that some of the notes which I called out (like the Blueberry Jam one) are totally over-shadowed.
Hernö Batch 1 is yet another winning gin from a fantastic distillery. Fans of contemporary style gins with a slight floral-forward approach will find a lot to like her. Juniper-first fans of classic style gins may find the juniper to be a little bit further back in the mix than they would like.
Overall, if you’ve had Hernö Gin, and you liked it, you’ll like this one as well.