Obdo comes from Riga and is one of the few Latvian gins. Obdo is a real handicraft product, all the herbs used are collected from the Latvian countryside and dried in the sauna of the owner’s house in the countryside. A total of 22 herbs, spices and fruits have been used, for example pine buds, juniper, lavender, linden blossom, yarrow and dried orange. The raw spirit, made from organically grown grain, is also distilled in Latvia. Obdo’s products can be found in several different restaurants in Riga and nowadays also in a few alcohol stores in Latvia.
The aroma is sweetish and full of herbs. It is very pleasant and peculiar, but it has practically no juniper aroma at all. The taste has some honey sweetness, herbs and it is quite sharp. Meadowsweet is strongly present; in the aftertaste there comes also juniper and other herbs. When drunk neat, Obdo have bunch of herbs and spices, it is pleasant, sweetish but very strong. Diluted with water, the meadowsweet strongly dominates. Really nothing else tastes anymore. The taste of meadowsweet comes strongly to all the drinks I made. There is no traditional juniper flavor in Obdo so I’m not sure if it should be called a herbal spirit rather than a gin. The taste of juniper berries growing in the Baltic countries is not as strong as that of those imported from southern Europe, so this is probably one of the reasons why the juniper aroma is so mild.
Obdo is an unconventional and peculiar gin, after drinking it you will know whether you like the meadowsweet or not. Personally, I’m not a big fan of it, it’s such a distinctive and strong herb that it should be used sparingly. I think Obdo has failed a bit here and the gin is not well balanced. It feels like the 21 other herbs used in the production are going wasted.
Obdo is more versatile when drunk purely, although it is too strong for it. When mixing it with sparkling or tonic water, it becomes one-sided, with one taste dominating too much. The taste has a strong sense of craftsmanship, as in the design of the bottle also, which is purely positive. I think the product should be developed a little further, there is a lot of potential in it, it just isn’t fully ready yet.