Iceland may be a small nation, but it punches well above it’s weight in terms of gin. In others words, there’s a lot of good gin being distilled in Iceland. Glacierfire is the first craft Icelandic tonic maker, and Glacierfire Botanic Tonic Water is one of six(!) in their lineup.
Firstly, all of Glacierfire’s tonic waters are sugar free. They use sucralose. The quinine is sourced from Africa and their water comes from Icelandic Langjökull glacier melt. The water also gives Glacierfire Elderflower Tonic Water a pH of 8.88.
Glacierfire as a brand has a pleasant and durable effervescence when the water is poured.
The nose is whisper quiet— at least at first. There’s just this general tonic water aroma that’s a combination of soda and quinine. But as I breathe, I occasionally catch myself slightly coughing. Is there a tingle of spice coming through? It reminds me a bit of the nose of Chilli Gin or Ginfuego if they were turned down to 1 (out of 11).
Glacierfire Fiery has a vague and slight pepperiness to it. This time the chili is a bit more vegetal in character— like the Uncle Val’s Pepper. The sucralose dominates the palate. A gentle metallic quinine note closes things out.
There’s so much lost opportunity in Glacierfire Fiery. There are few truly spicy tonic waters on the market. But there’s nowhere enough fire to justify the word “fiery” on the label. I’d say it’s more like a distant memory of a fire with a touch of capsaicin on the finish. Rather than a bold fiery tonic, Glacierfire Fiery Tonic Water is a bit weak with a palate that does little to compensate for the flavor effects of their chosen sweetener.