Gin of the week: Nordés

It will come as no surprise to anyone who has crossed the threshold of HomeMade in recent months that we’re rather partial to a gin and tonic. At the start of last December, we inaugurated the world’s first* “advent cal-gin-der”, in an attempt to run down our burgeoning stock of spirit (yes, it’s barely a pun, but it was for a good cause). The curious result of this well intentioned drinking project is that our supply has roughly doubled. Go figure. So here we now are with fifty bottles of mother’s ruin and many thirsty HomeMaders. It’s going to be a long slog, but we thought you might like to join us on the journey.

So, here it is, our first gin of the week: Nordés Atlantic Galician Gin. Named, according to its maritime-themed bottle, after a mythical northerly wind which blows through Galicia, thought to bring good weather and, it claims, decent gin. That’s pretty much on a par with the standard overblown marketing spiel found stuck to the back of overpriced spirits, so we were off to a strong start.

The first sniff of this rare delight led to immediate disagreement. Several noses were flatly unimpressed, and delivered withering rebukes of “mouthwash” and “aftershave” – they won’t be invited back. But some of us took to the unusually sweet fragrance of Nordés, and after a second, full-lunged sniff, a pairing with Fever Tree Mediterranean tonic was prescribed by our resident prescriber of tonics.

Our tasting tradition, elaborated over the past few weeks, is now to go in ungarnishedly – it feels fairer that way, and we’re all for a controlled experiment. This evening, however, everyone agreed that Nordés could have done with a little citrus to cut through its oily texture. “It tastes like sweets,” blurted out someone at the back of the room, and it’s hard to deny it. There’s a bizarre bubblegum taste in Nordés that gets in the way of its being obviously gin. It led to a few furrowed eyebrows and, eventually, a general shrug of resignation. It’s not horrible, but we don’t think it’s going to win Galicia any awards. Unless there’s an award for the only gin made in Galicia, in which case it could do quite well.

So it’s a round 5/10 for Nordés. Give it a try if it’s free and at hand, but for £37 a bottle this Iberian offering fails to pull its weight.