In England all the best ideas are hatched in a pub. In Finland, it would seem, are laid in a sauna. While drinking rye whisky in a sauna, a group of friends began pondering why rye whisky was not distilled in Finland. From that seed of an idea the Kyrő distillery was created. As well as whisky, they distil liquors and gins, including their Pink Gin.
Rye as a base for the spirit that goes to make a gin may seem an odd choice because of its temperamental character, but right from the outset the Kyrő team decided that they would use 100% Finnish wholegrain rye, a distinction that gives them an edge in the marketing of a product in the crowded marketplace spawned by the ginaissance.
Sustainability is another key feature of the Kyrő brand. Their distillery makes use of locally produced bio gas, which uses fish and pork processing waste as a raw material. They reuse any hot water used in the distilling process and aim to heat their facilities and neighbouring buildings with it. Side-streams from the production of alcohol are used to feed local cattle while methanol and other higher alcohols are fed to the bacteria in the nearby sewage farm to keep the local water cleaner. All very laudable.
Pink gin is not normally my go-to kind of gin. It is normally made in the same way as other gins, but post-distillation red and pink produce, spices, or bitters, or even, heaven forbid, added colouring and sweeteners are infused into the spirit. Popular ingredients to be used in the manufacture of pink gins are strawberries, raspberries, rhubarb, grape skins, rose petals, and red currants, all of which have a dual purpose of adding colour and sweetness to the drink and downplaying the heavier, drier, more bitter, and spicier flavours of the botanicals we classically associate with gin. The yin to the yang of London Dry Gin, you might say.
Why I tend to give them a swerve is that I generally find them too sweet for my palate. Here, though, while using strawberries, lingonberries, and rhubarb to provide the sweetness and colour, the team at Kyrő have carefully selected spicy and herbaceous botanicals to produce a well-balanced, creamy, pale pink drink which would be a delight to sip on a warm summer’s evening. And with an ABV of 38.2% a second glass is almost irresistible.
Kyrő Pink Gin comes in 50cl bottles which are dumpy, with squat, broad shoulders, and a short neck, leading to an artificial stopper. The labelling has a minimalist and modern feel about it with black and goldy bronze lettering against a white background. The information about the gin is printed vertically running from top to bottom which means you have to hold the bottle sideways to read the print which was too small for my rheumy eyes.
For a pink gin, it was impressive and for many reasons is worth seeking out.
Until the next time, cheers.