Nordes Gin is an aromatic gin from Galicia in Spain. In our review, we find out what this unique gin that’s made with a grape-based spirit has to offer. Were we blown away by its Spanish charms?
By way of quick orientation, Galicia is the northwestern bit of the Spanish mainland (the bit of Spain that overlaps the top of Portugal on the map). It’s a place of rugged beauty, and the name Nordes is inspired by the Atlantic winds that race across the region.
Bottled at 40% ABV Nordes is, unusually, made with a grape-based spirit. Local Albariño grapes are the base. They’re white wine grapes that produce wines that are noted for their botanical aromas. With such a starting point, there’s an expectation that Nordes will follow the flavoursome path of Gin Mare, another Spanish gin we reviewed recently.
In fact, Nordes is a gin that really does promise flavour. Nordes’ botanical mix includes laurel, sage, eucalyptus leaves and mint. Those are hard at work alongside the juniper, ginger, cardamom and tea amongst others. In fact, there are 11 botanicals in all, six of which are local. So, does it deliver?
On opening the lovey white bottle, you’re immediately hit by a mix of citrus and floral notes. This is a gin that smells fresh and welcoming. That citrus is likely coming from the lemon verbena that’s present which, apparently, can help heal melancholy. Sounds like the perfect way to do so!
Those floral notes must be the sage and the eucalyptus. It actually smells a little of the seaside (although perhaps that’s just us being suggestible!) However, there’s samphire present too, so that fresh Galician sea air has certainly been bottled.
Wow. Nordes is a bold, lively gin that fills the mouth. That Albariño grape-based spirit really does add some theatre. It’s rich and sweet in equal measure, and quite far away from what you’d expect from a dry gin. Your mouth is also alive with those floral notes from the nosing too – this is one very enjoyable taste sensation from Galicia.
Coming to the fore are tastes of sugary sweetness that tickle your tongue. The best way we could think of describing it was as a more subdued version of a hybrid of some parma violet sweets and those yellow sherbet fountains from when we were young. Actually, we really struggled to describe it (as you can tell!) It’s very pleasant, as it’s not a sickly or an overpowering sweetness. It’s more of a delicate, ‘perfumed’ sweetness.
Also coming through is a hint of juniper. It’s there, it’s just not as apparent as you’d obviously find on the more juniper-led gins. There’s a hint of peppermint tea in there too to help control that sweetness.
How to serve Nordes Gin
We think Nordes Gin is great neat. Heap a healthy quantity of ice in a glass, pop a sprig of basil in, and you’re done. Very refreshing and drinkable. It almost tastes slightly like a wine/gin cross.
Nordes also works well in a classic G&T too, but be careful. Keep away from any tonic that’s too perfumed or sweet. Nordes doesn’t need that. A good quality Indian tonic is all you need alongside your ice. Garnish with basil or a few white grapes to pick up on those Albariños. Best to stay away from any harsh citrus garnishes in our view. A lemon rind garnish would work though.
Overall, we would highly recommended that you give Nordes Gin a try if you’re not afraid to make a change from the norm. We’re certainly converts to this soft, sweet gin. It represents a fresh and modern style of gin that manages to capture its Galician heritage beautifully.
Buy Nordes Gin
Nordes has a standard bottle size of 70cl but, if you really like it like we did, why not try this 3L monster…
In the US and Canada, check Drizly to see if you can buy Nordes Gin for delivery in your area.