Review: Norrbottens Destilleri Mountain Dry Gin

Norrbotten’s Distillery is another exciting new Swedish distillery. Sweden’s northernmost distillery was started by three friends for over three years ago. They released their first gin, Mountain Dry Gin, on November 1st last year. 

The distillery is located outside the city of Kalix, almost 1,000 km north of Sweden’s capital Stockholm. Norrbotten borders both Finland and Norway and here in the northern landscape you can enjoy the famous midnight sun and if you are lucky, or unlucky, meet both wolves and bears.

I get the impression that they want to do things their own way, modern technology with a lot of local traditions. They even build their own equipment and aims to become Europe’s most high-tech small-scale distillery. 

“We love the fusion of nature and modern technology; the new and the old;
classic recipes with a modern twist.”

A series of four different varieties have been planned in their standard range and I think they will be released almost a year apart. The idea is that we will follow the journey along their totem pole, the symbol they use on their products, along the Kalixälven (Kalix river) through Norrbotten’s landscape. They do not use the same basic recipe in the series at all, but plan four unique varieties.

Inspired by nature, and each release also have different focus, so Mountain is their first and will function as an all-round and show a little what Norrbotten’s Distillery is, while the upcoming has other meanings. 

The first gin is named Mountain Dry Gin which they also managed to get well into the recipe. It is distilled with eleven different botanicals and diluted with fresh water to 43,5%, and this is really a Swedish gin. A type of classic London Dry Gin, with its very own character but still true to the classic style. 

Tasting Notes

  • Nose: A warm and full-bodied nose with a lot of junipers, a clean, peppery but still soft scent, floral tones and a little grapefruit. No alcohol heat in the scent at all.
  • Neat:  Incredibly smooth, tasty, and soft. Big and long aftertaste, I feel juniper and peppery, floral tones but still very dry. In the aftertaste, I feel grapefruit, and again a lot of pepper but still in a soft way.  It is very enjoyable neat and I can imagine sipping on this for a long time.

Gin and Tonic

  • 5 cl Norrbottens Destilleri Mountain Dry Gin
  • 10 cl Neutral Tonic, I use the Swedish Hammars Original Tonic
  • Garnish with a slice of grapefruit

Fantastic! Juniper, pepper, but most forward is grapefruit. Floral, citrusy, strong and soft. A classic GT basically, with the classic bitterness and juniper flavor in the front and accented with floral tones and citrus flavors.

Makes for a refreshing G&T” states Norrbotten’s Distillery and I cannot help but agree!

Dry Martini 

  • 6 cl Norrbottens Destilleri Mountain Dry Gin
  • 1 cl Dolin Vermouth Dry
  • Garnish with a twist of lemon or even a grapefruit

In terms of taste, I think this gin is remarkably similar to Daffy’s Gin, which was awarded the world’s best gin for Dry Martini a few years ago. I asked Master Distiller Dennis Bejedal about it and we managed to find some similarities between them, but also many differences. Anyway, I expected a fantastic Dry Martini and I wasn´t disappointed.

It is a pretty floral, very balanced and dangerously easy-drinking Martini that will surely suit those who can normally have a little trouble for the more classic Dry Martinis. Lots of flavors, but so smooth and nice, a real treat!

The Take Home

Overall, a fantastic fine gin that will be standard in my cupboard in the future. Although it fits extremely well in Dry Martini, which is also my favorite way to enjoy gin, this one impresses so much in G&T that there will be many of those enjoyed here. I am very much looking forward to what Norrbotten’s Distillery brings next!

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