Myken Arctic Gin 47%

In May Myken Distillery finally release their first product, a gin, on the Norwegian market (i.e. Vinmonopolet), and I thought that a good excuse for a vertical tasting. So here we have batch 1 at 47.3%, which I’ve already got notes up for, batch 2 at 47%, a sample I got when I visited Myken for their official opening i September, and batch 3, the one which will be available from next Friday, also at 47%, in an appealing half litre bottle with the awesome label designed by Metric Design. Please note that I happen to have the coolest bottle from the batch, number 42 (the answer, as we all know, to life, the universe, and everything). Pretty much the best birthday present I’ve had for some time (and, yes, I turned 42).


Batch 1

Nose: Cucumber, juniper, fresh herbs, coriander and cumin.

Palate: Juniper twigs, light liquorice. More soapy coriander with a few drops of water.

Batch 2

Nose: Herbs and sea foam. Juniper and cumin. Something quite waxy, as well as warm wood.

Palate: Soapy coriander, herbs and more sea influence.

Batch 3

Nose: Juniper berries and a sweet juniper wood note, fresh herbs, black pepper and sea.

Palate: Soapy coriander, faint liquorice, juniper berries, spruce twigs and orange peel.

Comments: There is definitely a clear relationship between the three batches. A little tweaking of the spice mix has obviously been going on, but no radical changes. In my opinion they’re going in the right direction with the tweaking, too, I marginally prefer batch 3. All three are excellent sipping gins, and it would suprise me if they didn’t also work in drinks, from the reasonably simple G&T to those with a list of ingredients as long as your arm.

Myken Arctic Gin will be available to order at Vinmonopolet from Friday May 6, for 509.90 NOK for 0,5 litres. The order number is 3957902 and there are only a couple of hundred bottles available in this first release, so if you want one you shouldn’t hang around.


Butterbeer is a drink which may require a little explanation if you happen to be unlucky enough to have missed reading (or seeing) Harry Potter. From that you can probably gather that Butterbeer appears in J. K. Rowling’s novels (and in the films), and so, naturally, it has been “recreated” and is sold at Warner Bros Studio Tour: The Making of Harry Potter in Leavsden outside London and at The Wizarding World of Harry Potter in Florida. Well, I say “recreated”, I think a more correct phrase would be “reimagined”.


In the books Butterbeer may be served cold from bottles or warm “in steaming tankards”, but both are said to have a “warming” effect. It’s possible that Rowling based the idea, or at least (subconciously) the name on a drink from the Tudor era, “Buttered beer”, which was made from beer, sugar, eggs, nutmeg, cloves and butter, in recent times recreated by Heston Blumenthal. When asked by the magazine Bon Appetit in 2002 what butterbeer would taste like, Rowling said: “I made it up. I imagine it to taste a little bit like less sickly butterscotch.” It is also reasonable to suppose that the fictional drink has a slight alchohol content, for while it is served to children , the house elves can get drunk on butterbeer.

What you get when you order Butterbeer at Warner Bros Studios is a sort of soda float. A soda-like fluid is pured in the glass and then topped with a soft serve ice cream-esque substance. You can pay extra to have thwe whole in a plastic souvenir tankard, of course. Which we did, of course. You know “fan” is short for “fanatic”, right?

Butterbeer in souvenir tankardsNose: Vanilla ice cream and toffee sauce.

Palate: “The foam” tastes of vanilla ice cream and toffee, and the “soda” appears to have a toffee flavour, too, the whole is surprisingly refreshing. An attempt at drinking the soda by itself, not through the foam, reveals that is is actually quite bland, a sort of watered-down toffee-flavoured soda.

Comments: As a package quite nice in a way, and much less nausea-inducingly sweet than I expected. I easily finished my “tankardfull” as an accompaniment to my burger. The lass, however, was less convinced (suprisingly, as she has a sweet tooth like the best of them). Her first reaction was “Yum”, but then she decided she liked the foam only, and went to get a spoon to finish it off. But when we’d finished our food and were ready to continue our tour, she hadn’t eaten more than half, which I think qualifies as a “not drinkable” vote from her.


Myken Arctic Dry Gin 47.3%

Myken is soon ready to launch their first product. Well, if you happen to swing by the pub  Emaus at Lovund this evening you can have a dram already. Not coincidentally, Roar Larsen is also at Lovund, preparing to appear on Norwegian national television in the programme Sommeråpent in just a few minutes.

And guess what I found in the mail today?

myken_ginNose: Nice and clean gin nose. Juniper berries, juniper wood, slight cumin, pine needles and coriander. A bit of cucumber too, I’ll have to get the Hendricks out to compare. A drop of water emphasises the coriander, making it more soapy.

Palate: Quite light, a little citrus, but more of an orange peel than a lemony citrus. Quite soapy corainder, some juniper berries and juniper…twig? I’ve never actually chewed on a juniper twig (perhaps I should try it?), but I imagine it tastes like this.

Comments: I can see no reason why this shouldn’t soon be appearing in every bar in Norway. I like it, and it’s got to be more fun presenting a Norwegian gin than a run-of-the-mill foreign one to your customers? Not least if you frequently have tourists stopping by? I’m certainly aquiring a bottle as soon as it becomes available at the Vinmonopol some time this autumn.

After a quick nip to the cupboard for a Hendricks (one of my favourites, I should mention) I can say that, yes, there are definite similarities, especially on the nose. The spice is a bit more apparent on the Myken, but they both have that cucumbery feel to me. And they both have that soapy coriander on the palate, though the Hendricks leans more towards lemondand lilacs. Adnams First Rate (another one I really like) has a completely different profile, with a more extreme spicyness.

PS: Whiskysaga have written about Mykens gin today, where you can see pictures of the lable design and find more details on the botanicals.