The Lahetaguse (Lahhentagge) village is located in the southwestern part of Saaremaa, Estonia. The Lahhentagge distillery was started there in 2016. It is the only distillery currently operating in Saaremaa, the largest island in Estonia, with a population of about 33,000. Lahhentaggen’s first and currently only alcohol product is Ösel Dry Gin. Its base spirit is made from rye and is distilled in Estonia. The most important herbs are hand picked from Saaremaa; juniper berries, cowslip, lilac and sweet flag, which is also called Nordic ginger. The distillation itself was done in Belgium. The company has its own distillery under construction. In other words, all Estonian raw materials have first been chartered to Belgium, where the gin has been distilled and then returned to Saaremaa for bottling. Because of all this logistics, Lahhentagge Gin is one of the most expensive Estonian gins, a 50 cl bottle costs almost 50 euros in stores.
The rather original smell has juniper, a floral aroma and some original herbal aroma, which is then probably a combination of cowslip and nordic ginger. At the beginning, the taste of juniper berry and spruce shines, as well as thyme-like spice. There is something floral and vegetal in the background. The taste is quite dry and sharp. The taste profile is quite original, as you might expect from the specific herbs used. There are hardly any traditional gin herbs except juniper. Drunk neat, the taste is quite fresh and perky. The aftertaste is long with herbal and wooden aromas. When diluted with water, the taste becomes more stale. Due to the dryness, it is advisable to use a sweet tonic for mixed drinks.
Ösel Dry Gin is an original and different gin. It’s the most enjoyable when drunk neat, I didn’t particularly enjoy it in various drink mixes. Its biggest problem is the very high price and the rather limited availability. In Estonia it is available mainly from specialty stores and a single food store chain. At its current price, it doesn’t live up to expectations, so it’s worth a try for a 4 cl serving at the restaurant first.