Kyrö Distillery Company started distilling rye-based whisky and gin in 2014 in a beautiful old dairy in Isokyrö, Finland. At a tasting in London, former stand-up Mikko (”Two Ks, One Beard” – not to be confused with Mikka or Miko) informed me that they hope to be the best known rye distillery by 2022, and they’re off to a flying start with four fantastic products.
Let’s start with the Napue rye gin, named after a fairly disastrous battle for the Finnish back in 1714. It’s a 46.3% beast with 12 dry botanicals plus 4 special extras – meadowsweet, sea buckthorn, cranberries and birch leaves. These are added in distillate form in order to guarantee consistency from the unpredictable foraged botanicals.
It makes a great G&T – they recently won Best Gin & Tonic at the International Wine & Spirits Competition (IWSC) after an exhaustive blind-tasting process. It also stands up well in a Tom Collins and a Negroni – my kind of gin.
Then there’s the Koskue – a 42.6% barrel-aged gin that’s more suited to sipping and an Old Fashioned. Meadowsweet is dominant again here.
Juuri (meaning “origin”, or a starter dough for bread) is a 46.3% unaged, new-make whisky, but don’t let that put you off. It’s full of flavour (I got honey on toast mostly) and is best treated like Grappa or Pisco. Sours all the way then.
Finally there’s Verso (or “sprout”) – a 46.5% whisky, aged in white American oak for 4 months in small casks. Expect more honey and rye notes with some oak and sweetness on the nose.
They’ve certainly come a long way since Googling “How to make gin” a couple of years ago. I expect we shall be seeing a lot more of Mikka, Mikko, Miko and co. at Kyrö Distillery Company in the future. For now, pick some of their classy bottles up at The Whisky Exchange or order online at Master of Malt.