Nordés Atlantic Galician Gin Review

Euan Harris | 18 December 2018

2018 has seen a fervent debate about what gin is (and Indeed, what it should be). There’s no doubting that the rise in popularity of gin has paved the way for some welcome additions to the category, but there are some which have pushed the boundaries a little too far for my tastes. Nordés Atlantic Galician Gin is definitely not one of those.

While it’s got a contemporary flavour unlike anything I’ve tried to date, it’s still on the right side of what constitutes gin for me. Read on for our review and find out about the story, process and botanicals that gives Nordés its distinct flavour.

The bottle for this Nordés Gin review was purchased by From the Gin Shelf

Nordés Atlantic Galician Gin Review

Euan Harris | 18 December 2018

2018 has seen a fervent debate about what gin is (and Indeed, what it should be). There’s no doubting that the rise in popularity of gin has paved the way for some welcome additions to the category, but there are some which have pushed the boundaries a little too far for my tastes. Nordés Atlantic Galician Gin is definitely not one of those.

While it’s got a contemporary flavour unlike anything I’ve tried to date, it’s still on the right side of what constitutes gin for me. Read on for our review and find out about the story, process and botanicals that gives Nordés its distinct flavour.

Galicia in a bottle

Nordés is the product of a discussion over a meal with three friends who wanted to create a spirit that was true to the Galician region. Sitting in the northwest of Spain, the friends looked to capture the freshness of the the Atlantic Ocean in every bottle.

Launched in 2012, the brand takes its name from the Nordés wind which meets the Galician coast, described by the brand as “the wind that brings good weather.”

The Nordés recipe

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.

BOTANICALS

sage, laurel, verbena herb, eucalyptus and peppermint, glasswort, juniper, ginger, cardamom, hibiscus flower, black tea

NORDÉS GIN RECOMMENDED SERVE

  1. Add plenty of ice to a wide-rimmed glass
  2. Pour 50ml (5cl) of Nordés Gin
  3. Top up with 200ml (20cl) of premium tonic water
  4. Garnish with three white grapes

Nordés Gin to taste

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 non-gin lovers 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

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.

Garnish

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 from Gin Foundry for the latter suggestion!), which brings out more of those sweet peach flavours.

Nordés’ flavour profile is down to, in part, the use of grape spirit as its base, as opposed to the more common grain spirit

Branding, packaging & design concept

To create a gin with true provenance, every aspect needs to speak to the region. Nordés complete their story with striking packaging. The bottle design is inspired by traditional ceramics of Sargadelos.

Made in Galicia, they’re 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.