ASKUR GIN HAS LONDON CALLING
Askur Yggdrasil Gin caught my eye for a few reasons. Firstly, a widely available gin that is a product of Iceland? Two, it was very affordably priced and bottled in a one Liter size! Finally, the labeling is bold and exudes transparency. It reminded me of the Tinkerman’s Gin label.
The master distiller, Hervé Graser works out of the France-based Sucrerie Distillerie. The base spirit is 100% French grown wheat, distilled in France seven times. The final distillation happens on a copper pot and while Askur Yggdrasil Gin hangs its hat on its “Nordic Inspiration,” the botanicals are quite ordinary, and sourced from mostly-non Nordic countries (China, France, Spain and the “Mediterranean” for example).
Many Icelandic spirits rely heavily on local terroir to inspire them. Vor for example features several indigenous botanicals. Others like Martin Miller’s merely go to Iceland for the water. That seems to be the case with Askur Yggdrasil Gin as well. The gin is blended and diluted there before export.
Note: the bottle has two differing proof statements on it. I’m assuming for this review that the “45% ABV” accurately reflects the contents of the bottle; however, it does include a separate statement that says 46% and 92 proof.
Nice clean juniper nose, classic with a hint of spice and citrus. But the juniper is the star here.
Sipped, juniper comes on early. Mid-palate Yggdrasil Gin has a hint of spice and bitter orange. Licorice starts adding a creamy richness. The base spirit is warm, but in a rather nice way. Good mouthfeel and texture here, although the finish is short with stony and chalky notes on the finish.
I’d compare Askur Yggdrasil Gin favorably to Gordon’s Gin— the same botanicals are the star. The citrus is subtle, and that distinction alone I think would make this gin a great choice for those who think Beefeater could use a bit more of a juniper edge.
Regardless of who you think this gin is most similar to, the fact that we’re having these comparisons should tell you all you need to know about this gin.
Askur Yggdrasil Gin is a versatile cocktail and mixing gin. It has a good juniper flavor that shines in a Negroni, a Tom Collins or Gin and Tonic.
Whether you like it in a Martini or not is more of a matter of taste. The flavor is there, though the choice of Vermouth and use of bitters/garnish can help with the short, mineral finish.
Overall, Askur Yggdrasil Gin
I’m dismayed at the conflicting ABV statements on the bottle. I’m not sure that it should qualify as a “Product of Iceland” alone when it largely relies on French distillate. The use of the “Nordic-inspired” is distressing as well as there is little Nordic provenance in its botanical or spirits sourcing.
Despite my major reservations about how they position themselves, the product alone is worthy of merit. It’s an excellent classic style gin. Askur Yggdrasil Gin has a good flavor, mixes well and is a great price.