Review: Bareksten Navy Strength Gin

This must be how Vikings should drink gin if they lived today! Bareksten has an amazing appearance, from the dark mysterious bottle, the marketing, the complex and powerful gin and not the least, the man behind it, Stig Bareksten.

Stig easily appears as the image of a Norwegian Viking, bearded, mysterious, and somewhat dangerous. But he is an incredibly nice and friendly person with a great passion for gin and spirits. Stig has a background from the bar industry and has been involved in starting Det Norske Brenneri who manufactures Harahorn which I have previously reviewed.

Bareksten gin is a handcrafted Norwegian gin based on potatoes. They produce a London Dry Gin, a navy strength gin, an old tom gin, a botanical aquavit, a botanical vodka and a blueberry liqueur.

Bareksten Navy Strength is based on potatoes and flavored with 26 different botanicals, 19 of which are local. There’s juniper, coriander, blueberries, grains of paradise, fennel, rose hips, lime peel, rose flowers, cinnamon, caraway, cardamom, angelica, lemon and orange peel, orris, rhubarb, aniseed, nutmeg, red clover, lavender, chamomile, mint arnica flowers, elderflowers, lingonberries.

The classic James Bond bar Duke´s in London has recently added Bareksten to it´s assortment, so you can get a Dry Martini made in Alessandro Palazzi’s special way.

The bottle is black with patterns reminiscent of a real magic forest. Very lavish and well done, it is in itself a work of art.

Tasting Notes

  • Nose: Lots of juniper, coriander, angelica root in a strong, even aroma. Very herbal and fresh.
  • Neat: Again, lots of juniper, very even taste with lots of herbs in the aftertaste. Powerful and oily, but so smooth and nice. Definitely a gin to enjoy neat!
  • Martini: I served it 7cl Gin with 1cl Noilly Prat, stirred really ice cold and with a lemon zest. So strong, so smooth, amazingly fresh, lots of juniper, a bit citrus and lots of herbal aftertaste. This is an amazing Dry Martini, maybe not for the inexperienced Martini drinker but if you, like me, enjoy a powerful Martini with lots of taste and character, you will love this.
  • Gin and Tonic: I use Fevertree with lemon zest, it gives you a quite traditional Gin and Tonic but with extra everything. Lots of juniper, herbal notes and a fresh acidity. Completely wonderful, enjoy it slowly in small sips.
  • A full grown och tough Gin and Tonic, just like a Viking would have it!

The Take Home

5/5 stars, without a doubt! It is one of the best new gins I have had in a while. And the whole package, the bottle, the story, the man, and of course the gin makes this given in my drinks cabinet!

Cheers!

Jens

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