Gin no. 072 was not the gin I wanted to bring back from Gothenburg, Sweden. At Familjen, a wonderful little restaurant, I learned of a gin aged in barrels made from juniper wood. I had never heard of such a thing and desperately wanted to try it. Unfortunately, it was not one of the three types of Hernö Gin that they were pouring that evening. My trip to the state run liquor store faired no better; Dry, Old Tom, and Navy Strength but no Juniper Cask! And even when I found Hernö in the Copenhagen Airport, the gin I wanted wasn’t there. I was left to return home having tasted none.
To my good fortune, my great friend Michael took pity on me, or maybe just heard the story and wanted to try some too. Either way, for my birthday, he surprised me with a bottle he had located. So on September 9, 2022 after dinner a No. 9 Park, he pulled from his trunk the yellow bottle and presented me with Hernö Juniper Cask Gin, which was entered into The Collection as gin no. 075.
This gin claims to be the first gin aged in juniper wood casks. They start with their base gin, dilute it to 47% ABV, and then age it for thirty days in these special casks. Like other Hernö gins, the botanicals are coriander seed, black pepper, cassia bark, vanilla, lingon berries, meadowsweet, lemon peel, and of course juniper berries. In addition to intensifying the juniper, the barrel aging mellows out the high proof gin. Although there are hints of citrus, this is a piney gin with a woody, sappy palate. We tried it in a gin and tonic, but this gin is too rare and curious to dilute with tonic. It is best enjoyed neat, sipping on it you can really experience the juniper casks.
Because it was a gift, I don’t know the cost, but I know it won’t be cheap to get your hands on one. Although it is a bit of a novelty, it is a very good gin and one of the most interesting ones we have added to the collection. I will note that the wax dip made this bottle a giant pain to open, but if you can find it at cost, don’t pass up a chance to buy it or at least try it.