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.
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. There’s a lot here which might suggest this is a London Dry Gin.
The palate adds some roundness to the nose, with coriander, and baking spice making way before the citrus comes in later. Hints of orange cream soda, and pine-forward juniper later. The taste delivers a potent dose of classic flavor, leading up to a dry, but not astringent finish.
There’s a lot here that fans of juniper forward gin will enjoy.
Ísafold Gin made a delightful Gin and Tonic. As a bit more of a mixing gin, Ísafold Gin has nice potential for Negronis, Collins or other drinks that combine gin and citrus.
While there are a lot of solid gins being made in Iceland, I always find it good to know that within a given place there’s a gin at a good price— that’s also good.
Overall, Ísafold Gin is quite pleasant juniper forward bargain gin (by Icelandic standards) that exceeded my modest expectations.