Nordés Atlantic Galician Gin Review
The bottle of Nordés Gin for this review was purchased by From the Gin Shelf
Nordés Atlantic Galician Gin.
As the gin category matured, there was a time where it seemed like we had a new gin every week. This massive increase in choice has resulted in an increased diversity of flavour, some of which have pushed the boundaries of what gin is (i.e. a spirit that takes its predominant flavour from juniper berries).
While some have pushed the boundaries a little too far for my tastes. Nordés Atlantic Galician Gin is definitely not one of those. It’s got a contemporary flavour unlike anything I’ve tried to date, but it’s still on the right side of what constitutes gin for me.
Read my review and find out about the story and recipe that gives Nordés its distinct flavour.
“Galicia in a bottle”
Nordés is the product of a discussion over a meal with three friends – a sommelier, a wine entrepreneur and a master distiller – who wanted to create a spirit that was true to the Galician region. Located in the northwest of Spain, they set out to to capture the freshness of the the Atlantic Ocean in every bottle.
Launched in 2012, the gin takes its name from the Nordés wind which meets the Galician coast, described by the brand as “the wind that brings good weather.”
To create a gin of true provenance, every aspect needs to speak to the region and Nordés complete their Galician gin with striking packaging.
The bottle design is inspired by traditional ceramics of Sargadelos which are also made in Galicia and are synonymous with utilising singular designs and white and blue colours. Nordés mirror this expertly to create a bottle instantly recognisable as their own.
A pixelated world map with Galicia highlighted, makes for a simple but unique concept, placing further focus on the provenance of their gin.
Nordés is distilled using spirit made from Galician albariño grapes.
How Nordés Gin is made
Nordés is a quite unusual gin and doesn’t conform to the usual blueprint for the category. With two of the founders being an award-winning sommelier and a wine entrepreneur, it’s perhaps not too surprising they chose to create a spirit derived from grapes, with Galician albariño grapes used to create its wine distillate. It’s this which Nordés states is “the soul” of their gin.
To further give the gin that authentic provenance, Nordés turned to botanicals native to the region – sage, laurel, verbena herb, eucalyptus and peppermint. A type of seaweed called glasswort makes up the Galician ingredients, central to the flavours in the spirit.
To complete the recipe, Nordés also uses five botanicals from elsewhere. These are juniper, ginger, cardamom, hibiscus flower and black tea.
Prior to distillation, each botanical is macerated individually, ranging from a few hours to a rather unusual one month.
Juniper, sage, laurel, verbena herb, eucalyptus and peppermint, glasswort, ginger, cardamom, hibiscus flower, black tea
How to serve Nordés Gin
- Chill a glass in the fridge
- Add plenty of ice to a glass
- Pour 50ml of Nordés Gin
- Add a quality tonic to taste (roughly 200ml)
- Garnish with three white grapes
- Stir gently and serve
Nordés isn’t a traditional gin, by any means. Given it’s not particularly juniper-forward, it’s probably not one for some purists. For me, however, it tastes absolutely delicious and is ideal for those looking for a contemporary gin, or something for those new to the category to try.
The flavour profile is quite unlike anything I’ve tried to date, including other grape-based gins. The nose has a hugely fruity aroma, sweet with subtle notes of menthol in the background. To taste, the flavour journey isn’t much of a journey at all – more a big hit on the taste buds that continues through the palate and finish.
With Nordés, what you get on the nose is pretty much the taste – fresh and fruity with flavours of peach and strong floral notes. There’s an intense candied sweetness too with a subtle hum of juniper in the background, just to let you know you’re drinking gin. Menthol lingers on the finish as the sweet, floral fruitiness fades away.
With tonic, the journey is lengthened a little but the flavours aren’t much different from when tasted neat. Given the intensity of the flavours, you can probably afford to make this a longer drink than usual, with three or four parts tonic to gin.
The recommended garnish is three white grapes, but it also works really well with sage and a liquorice stick/cardamom seeds. I personally now drink it stone fruit such as sliced nectarine (thanks to Olivier Ward from Spirits Beacon for the latter suggestion!), which brings out more of those sweet peach flavours.
It’s fair to say I’m a fan. Nordés is unlike any gin you’re likely to try. It’s cool, quirky and distinct in flavour. While it may not be to everyone’s tastes – particularly those who are juniper-forward diehards – this is a contemporary-style gin worth shouting about, full of flavour and Galician provenance.
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Where is Nordés Gin Made?
Nordés Gin is made in Galicia, Spain.
What is the best way to drink Nordés Gin?
Nordés recommends their gin is served as a gin and tonic, garnished with three white grapes.
What botanicals are used in Nordés Gin?
Nordés Gin is made with 11 botanicals. These are sage, laurel, verbena herb, eucalyptus and peppermint, glasswort, juniper, ginger, cardamom, hibiscus flower and black tea.