Adventurers may already be familiar with Nordisk Brænderi distiller Anders Bilgram. After all, it was in 2000 where he crossed the polar passage in only a dinghy. His Nordisk Gin comes in several in varietals— each named after something arctic. This gin, his first with Nordisk Brænderi is called “Northstar.”
Norisk Gin, Northstar edition contains some unusual arctic botanicals. I’m an unabashed fan of cloudberries, a small delicate salmon colored berry that grows in arctic boreal regions. It’s popular in Scandinavian jellies and jams.
And then there’s qajaasat, a plant endemic and quite common in Greenland— that is better known as Labrador Tea. It’s a member of the rhododendron family. Both its pine needle shaped leaves and white flower-headers are used to make a tea.
Nordisk Gin is distilled on a Müller copper still.
There’s an aroma of clear apple spirit on the nose. The heavy emphasis on fruit and floral botanicals is evident on Nordisk Gin’s nose. Hints of bosc pear flesh, rose petals, and sloe plums.
Nordisk Gin is vividly herbal though on the palate. Grassy and pleasantly warm, there’s dried hibiscus petals melding with dry chamomile flowers, tannic hints of green tea with tarragon, and holy basil menthol and camphor.
The finish is full of peppery herbal notes. Juniper comes through occasionally, though ultimately the palate has a strong flavor of tea to it.
Nordisk Gin is intensely herbal and floral, and because of that it can be something of a challenging mixing ingredient. Because of its intense floral notes, it’s not such a good counterpoint to sweet floral mixers. Avoid the creme de rose and violettes, and mix Nordisk Gin with either neutral flavors (Gin and Soda) or complement it with citrus. Being absolutely devoid of citrus on its own, it’s amazing how sweet lemon in something like a Tom Collins opens this spirit up.
Overall, Nordisk Gin, Northstar Edition
While I think a touch more juniper could really balance it a bit more, Nordisk Gin is unabashedly contemporary and worth seeking out if you— like its distiller— want some more adventure in your life.