Water of Life - Hernö
One of the perks of roaming this earthround is that you get to try local spirits from the source. After a stint in Finland, a local juniper aficionado introduced me to Hernö Distillery for the first-time pre-ambling the experience by highlighting that it the first gin-only distillery in Sweden.
Since its inception in 2012, the small batch artisanal distillery has accumulated a range of accolades and become a staple in the world of gin lovers.
My first exposure to Hernö’s emissions was the Navy Strength Gin, which despite the higher alcohol content still had the local Swedish botanicals shine through, i.e. lingon berries and meadowsweet married with vanilla and coriander. Specifically, the fragrant meadowsweet radiates and perforates the floral flavour profile and textured mouthfeel, which is framed by juniper notes and citrussy aromas.
With a wheat-based spirit serving as the foundation and a single shot distillation method per batch, the artisanal production process is sealed off by hand-labelling, numbering and signing each bottle individually.
Being usually more of a whisk(e)y aficionado, I like the fact that Hernö’s smooth expressions can be easily sipped without the at time distracting addition of tonic water.
Painstaking attention to detail focused around emotive gins packed with layers of flavour.
Apart from the Navy Strength, the Hernö portfolio includes an Old Tom (extra heavy on the meadowsweet and with a smooth, silky texture), a Juniper Cask Aged Gin, which is matured for a month in juniper casks and benefits from the resulting woody, piney juniper notes and Blackcurrant Gin, all of which convince not only with their complex flavours but the attention to detail that went into their creation.
My personal favourite is Hernö’s Sloe Gin. Clocking in at a mere 30% ABV, it is based on London Dry Gin with sloe berries being macerated in the gin for three months before being gently sweetened. Needless to say that the result is a flavourful melange of tarty sweetness that is reminiscent of liquid jam.
Gin lovers should take note of Hernö and try to stock their shelves before constantly rising demand results in less artisanal production methods.
Image from company website