What Have We Won? More Gin More Grins - The Reykjavik Grapevine

What Have We Won? More Gin More Grins

What Have We Won? More Gin More Grins

Published March 22, 2019

Just this February, Icelandic gin came out of the shadows. Emerging proudly, bare chested, banging on pots and pans in woollen sweaters, they smugly howled, “HÚH bitches, I’m here to stay!”

While that particular sentence might be an alternative fact, the gin—Old Tom Gin from Himbrimi—did win Best Compound Gin at the 2019 World Gin Awards in London. Bravó, martini-maker.

Different & interesting

“To compete in Britain with an Icelandic gin is like competing in Japan with Icelandic sushi or in Scotland with Icelandic whisky.”

The panel of alcoholic experts at the competition described the spirit as having, “plenty of tree bark and orris root, as well as nutmeg, hazelnut, and cumin. Just a whisper of juniper, and maybe a touch of thyme.” They continued on to call it, “Different and interesting.” Different and interesting, huh? It may not be sexy and cool, but we’ll take it.

It’s a truly prolific win for the five year old Brunner Distillery, who produces the gin. Óskar Ericsson, the director of the company, originally made it for fishing trips. He used herbs that grow along rivers and still handpicks them himself every summer. Each bottle is still labeled by hand and will continue to be, despite his newfound celebrity.

A big win

“This is a hugely significant recognition for us,” Óskar told reporters after the win. “To compete in Britain with an Icelandic gin is like competing in Japan with Icelandic sushi or in Scotland with Icelandic whisky.”

We agree, and highly anticipate that next year Iceland will dominate at the Westminster Dog Show and the next season of ‘Strictly Come Dancing.’

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