Tohi Distillery is one of the youngest craft distilleries in Estonia. It is located in Kohila, about 30 kilometers from the capital city Tallinn. The distillery has been established in the historic Tohisoo Manor, which also has a long tradition of making vodka on it’s own premises. However, Tohi does not produce the rectified spirit itself, but provides it from another Estonian distillery, Moe. Tohi gins are based on rectified spirit made from organically grown winter rye.
The main part of Tohi Nordic Dry Gin is the Nordic golden jewel, cloudberry. In addition, juniper berries, orange peel, chamomile and cardamom have been used. The most exotic herb is a naturally growing flower in Estonia, immortelle, which brings a slightly yellowish color to the gin. Tohi’s products are well available from restaurants, food and liquor stores in Estonia. A 50cl bottle of Nordic Dry Gin costs about € 20.
The aroma is quite sharp, dry and spicy. The taste is rich and intense. Juniper berry and cardamom are strongly on display, with a warming ginger or pepper and some peculiar, floral aroma in the background. Cloudberry flavour is not so distinctive, and it does not bring out the promised sweetness. The taste is well balanced and evenly strong, compared to cheaper supermarket gins, it really has enough flavor. The aftertaste has a slight peppery burn.
When diluted with water, cardamom starts to dominate the flavour. On the palate, the spices get more space, cardamom, cinnamon and a little bit of juniper kicking in the background. Water also brings surprising sweetness, which otherwise stays behind the strong alcohol burn. Still, however, the advertised taste of the cloudberry remains very lean.
Tohi Nordic Dry Gin is a great product and deserves the special mention of the best gin in Estonia this year. The taste is strong and varied, really rich. It’s even a little too strong and spicy if you’re used to the basic and light London Dry Gin profile. It is probably best when mixed with tonic water. For martinis and other drinks, the taste is perhaps a little too spicy. The slightly overpowering aroma of cardamom, as well as the lack promised cloudberry taste, are Tohi’s weakest sides.