Solveig, Gustaf and Syva...

After tasting Roknar Rye Whiskey and Alander Spiced Rum from Far North Spirits a few weeks ago today I have the rest of the line-up of the distillery on my desk. And this time I am really getting out of my comfort zone: All these bottles have clear spirits in them... Two different expressions of gin and a vodka. Although I am a huge gin fan and drink on regular basis I never reviewed any brand before here on tire-bouchon...

Solveig Gin (43.5%): Distilled from AC Hazlet Winter Rye variety planted and harvested right next to the distillery.

Color: Clear. Thick legs around the glass.

Nose: Lemon rind, lavender, rosemary and salted butter. Cedar wood and marshmallows.

Palate: Lavender, butter and bread crust. Creamy and viscous. Rose water, coriander seeds and thyme. Irish Spring soap bars, salt and olive brine.

Finish: Medium long and subtle with coriander and lavender.

Overall: Well, this gin tastes already like a martini... Throw a couple of olives in and you are ready to go. Very herbal and briny on the palate with a nice creamy texture... It might taste a little soapy to some people who cannot handle coriander very well (and I know a few) but I think it is a pretty unique gin with minimum juniper influence. Great for any kind of martini but wouldn't be my first choice for a gin and tonic. Nice addition to the gin cabinet though. Let's move to the next one...

Price: $38

Gustaf Navy Strength Gin (57.0%): Distilled again from AC Hazlet Winter Rye like Solveig but bottled at Navy strength this time. 

Color: Clear with thick fat legs around the rim.

Nose: Here is the juniper... Honey syrup, lime wedges and sweetened green tea. A sweeter, more juniper driven and less herbal gin on the nose compared to it's sister Solveig (I didn't give them gender, they did...).

Palate: Black pepper, juniper berries and fennel. Coriander again but this time with fresh leaves instead of seeds. Black gardening soil, lavender and dandelion leaves. Nice explosion on the palate with spicy and vegetal notes and high alcohol.

Finish: Way longer... Black pepper, pine needles and bitter greens.

Overall: This is more like my kinda gin... Bold and big with classical gin notes, juniper as its backbone and supported with all other ingredients. Now this one is great for a gin and tonic and will handle ice as well. Wonder if they are planning to barrel age this gin because it might work quite well.

Price: $38
Syva Vodka (45.0%): Distilled using the same type of rye used for their gins. I am not a vodka drinker at all but considering all vodkas I enjoyed before being distilled from 100% rye mash, like Chopin Red, Belvedere or Xellent my hopes are pretty high for this one...

Color: Clear with faint and thin legs.

Nose: Well, definitely not a neutral nose like many mainstream vodkas. Mostly a muted down version of Solveig gin minus the juniper: Butter, hint of lavender and Granny Smith apple wedges.

Palate: Very crisp and easy drinking... Butter still here but now slightly salted. Pine cones, vanilla and fresh apple and pear slices.

Finish: Short to medium but surprisingly sweet. Some alcohol burn on both side of the tongue with pine and citrus peel notes.

Overall: Like I said, I don't know enough about vodka to judge or grade but when I compare it with other vodkas I tried before I can easily say that it is an easy drinking, crisp and tasty spirit. Well, let's try to mix some bloody marys at home then...

Price: $33


Many many thanks once again to Cheri Reese and Far North Spirits for the official samples. Great line-up...