Not many of you might know that I’ve become a real gin aficionado lately. Though I always liked having a gin and tonic every now and then, it was last year when I was invited to a proper gin tasting that I developed a real interest to learn and taste more of the many different types of gin that are produced around the world today.
Over the past year, I have started to buy and taste a growing variety of gin. And starting to share some of my experiences on social media, I noticed quite a bit of interest. So I decided to share it on the blog as well.
It’s actually not only gin, lately I am adding other spirits to my list too. The great news is, this gives me a whole new angle of discovering not only new drinks but also adding new destinations to my bucket list, including distilleries and festivals and fairs dedicated to spirits.
Therefore, stay tuned for more.
Today, however I’d like to start with the review of a really unique gin I discovered when spending a weekend at Rüssels Landhaus in Naurath in the famous Mosel wine region in Germany.
Tasting Harry’s Wald Gin: A gin from the forest
I love small independent labels and producers, especially when the product they craft turns out to be really unique and stands out of the crowd.
Harry’s Waldgin is one of these very special creations. The name literally means ‘forest gin’ which is quite appropriate considering all botanicals have been foraged in the forest. Meanwhile, Harry is the mastermind behind this very unique spirit.
Harry indeed is renowned Michelin-star chef Harald Rüssel. He is widely recognized to source everything he puts on the menu in his two restaurants at Rüssels Landhaus either from local farmers or to go hunting and foraging in the forests surrounding his hotel. Thus it was only consequent to create his own gin based on botanicals harvested in the forests his hotel as well.
Harry’s Waldgin is handcrafted in cooperation with the renowned award-winning German distillery Hubertus Vallendar. The distillery, located in the small town of Kail in the Mosel region is known for its perfectly crafted sprits including various brandies, gins, whiskies and cognacs.
The final product of the cooperation between Harald Rüssel and Hubertus Vallendar is a London Dry Gin composed of eleven botanicals which are all distilled individually and then blended including: juniper, lemon verbena, sweet cicely, wild fruity oregano, chocolate mint, rosemary, spruce tops, lemon savory, sorrel, medlar and honey from Naurath.
For me quality and taste are the top criteria when it comes to select a wine or spirit, however I have to confess that design always plays a strong part as well. Put on a quirky label and you will have my attention.
Though the design of Harry’s Waldgin is largely classic, I very much like how it is presented. It comes in a 0.5 litre plain dark green glass bottle in the shape of bottles traditionally used by pharmacies, which makes it indeed look a bit different. The label with bright green letters and a deer placed upside-down picks up the forest theme quite nicely; and in my opinion the whole design is a good eye catcher.
Harry’s Waldgin, with an alcohol content of 47% vol. is perfectly balances, expressing a wonderful combination of flavours and the assortment of aromas truly evokes images of a forest.
Upon pouring, you will pick up on a tantalizing nose of essential oils, ginger, citrus, raspberry, orange zest, grapefruit, lemongrass, coriander, cinnamon, dried herbs, mint and of course juniper.
This is a gin that is made to be enjoyed with tonic and is also great to be used for cocktails. However, I definitely recommend to start tasting it pure to get the complete impression of the full aroma.
You will find Harry’s Waldgin selling online for a price range of around € 38.00 – € 42.00 at the time of writing. It thus ranks between the higher priced gins; but in my opinion it is perfectly worth it.
If you want to try something really unique, I definitely recommend you to have a go at Harry’s Waldgin. It really stands out on its own with very distinctive flavours.
Disclaimer: I purchased and paid for the bottle of Harry’s Waldgin myself and I do not receive any compensation for this review.