What did you do before creating your distillery?
After the financial crisis of 2008, I decided to start my bottling company, Volcanic Drinks ehf. And in 2016, Icelandic Mountain Spirits ehf was founded. One of the founders of this company was 'The Mountain' from the world-famous series 'Game of Thrones', Hafþór Júlíus Björnsson, who also won the title of The World’s Strongest Man in 2019. Our first product was the Mountain vodka, a super-smooth vodka. The vodka did very well so we decided to launch our gins, which have been equally well received.
What is the inspiration behind Icelandic Eagle Gin?
Our products are inspired by the old Icelandic legends of The Guardians of Iceland. The Giant, The Eagle, The Dragon and The Taurus. Legends say that these mythological creatures are the Guardians of Iceland and protectors against all of its enemies. The Eagle is the defender of the north of Iceland, and each bottle and taste represents our vision of The Guardians.
Can you tell us more about the distillery and distillation process?
The gins are continuously distilled 7 times and blended with natural Icelandic water, which gives them the purity and unique taste. The main botanical is juniper berries and the end result in our mind is a smooth, tasty gin with a 43% alcohol content by volume.
What have been the biggest challenges and achievements so far?
The biggest challenge is mainly the expansion of the brand. We live in Iceland which is distant from many of our target markets and getting the gin to the right people is challenging work. That said, when anyone tastes the quality of our gin and vodka, we see an appreciation of the products and every new customer helps reinforce our brand and the expansion of our business – this we consider to be one of our main achievements.
How would you describe your gins in 3 words?
Smooth, fresh, pure.
What's your favourite way to drink your gins?
With a splash of ginger ale and a twist of lemon peel.
What gins would you always have on your gin shelf (other than your own of course!)?
Other gins on my shelf would perhaps be something like Brockmans Gin or Hendrick's Gin.
What's next for Volcanic Drinks - any exciting plans?
We have partnered with Gerard Connolly of Icelandic Drinks in the UK who is helping our growth in that market. For example, we attended the IFE Event in London in 2019 and this has opened up some exciting opportunities with distributors. In addition, we are in the process of setting up a filling line for miniatures, so hopefully soon we will able to offer miniature versions of Eagle Gin to a new market. Exhibiting at other trade shows are already planned for later in the year. We are very proud of our gins, and we are certain that once you have tried them, you will appreciate the true quality of Icelandic Eagle Gin and Old Islandia Gin.