Spreewood Distillers

Humboldt Rye Dry Gin

Almost like a Genever

four starswritten and rated by
  • Germany
  • 43 % ABV
  • 700 ml
  • Juniper Epazote Congona Angostura Bark China Bark Guaraná seeds Pimento Blue Sage
  • nice rye notes

There are so many lame stories out there for gins. They get pitched a lot and I personally can barely get myself to listen to them anymore. So when a gin maker tells me that he never, never, never ever wanted to do a gin, I get curious. Let's dive into the Humboldt Gin.

Background and Creation of the Humboldt Gin

The reason for the Humboldt Gin to be created is the 250th birthday of the German explorer and naturalist Alexander von Humboldt in 2019. The Botanical Garden Berlin and the German Historical Museum wanted to create a gin with some of the plants / botanicals Alexander von Humboldt discovered. As it happens, Steffen, one of the founders of the Spreewood Distillers sat together with one of the people involved in this gin plan at a parents meeting at their kids' kindergarten and they figured that they could help each other out.

This special task, the occasion and the exciting perspective to work with botanicals which had not been in drinks before made the Spreewood guys rethink their "no gin, ever!" attitude for a good reason.

An early recommendation

This gin is a recommendation for various reasons to follow below, but it is very nice to see that this gin is priced reasonable and without any bogus hype around it, although it would have more reason to do that than most other gins on the market. The makers wanted to create something at a price which makes this gin even affordable to the students working and studying at the involved institutes. Still that did not make them create a cheap low-quality product in my eyes. So they stayed true to their "no gin" idea, but fine tuned it to "no b.s. hype gin". And parts of the proceeds actually go back to the museum.

A delicious gin with juniper, citrus and the rye taste in the background

Botanicals of the Humboldt Gin

21 botanicals in total make the Humboldt Gin a complex and exciting gin. Seven of these botanicals are plants von Humboldt brought to Europe and made them known for the first time. Among these are:

  • Juniper

  • Epazote

  • Congona

  • Angostura bark

  • China bark

  • Guaraná seeds

  • Pimento

  • a blue sage

Making and distillation of the Humboldt Gin

All botanicals are macerated in a rye distillate, which is the Spreewood distillers (SWD) signature alcohol of choice, and are being redistilled in their Hybrid copper stills.

The rye alcohol base is amazing and gives this gin a really unique style, almost like Genever in parts. The Spreewood distillers, three guys with marketing and bar background, took over an existing distillery in 2016 in the Spreewald area in Brandenburg. After 1.5 years of busy and hectic work of shaping everything they wanted it to be they got their idea of the rye focus and all other things running smoothly. The federal state of Brandenburg is home to rye fields and with partners like the museum and botanical garden they felt that this is not just yet another PR driven product, but a great idea to get the Brandenburg aspect into the gin as well.

The rye alcohol is something the SWD purchase and with it the first batch of 8.000 bottles (0.7 litres, 43 % ABV) were made. They distill in large 650 and 1.000 litre stills and let maceration take place for up to two days.

Tasting the Humboldt Gin


Fresh. Intense. A mix of citrus and juniper. Something heavier und darker lingers in the background. Alcohol is present at 43 % ABV, but not it is not knocking you out or overwhelming.


Light and citrus-loaded at first, quickly moving into a spicy sensation with a lightness and some sweetness taking over. The rye is definitely noticeable here and we almost get some Genever style twist to this gin. Citrus never really leaves the taste profile.


The spice gets shifted to some warm sensation. One gets a longer aftertaste with some warmth and peppery touch. A long sensation that slowly converts into a more savoury touch. Long lasting for sure.

On ice

As usual the edge gets taken off. The peppery sensation gets taken away and one has more of the flavours which the taste buds might get overwhelmed with in the forefront. The warmth is still present and the earthy notes feel more noticeable from the beginning. The freshness is still very prominent and citrus is still prominent player. The piney juniper never leaves the stage really.

The GinGinGin transparency declaration

This gin was a free sample by the producer in order for us to review the bottle. There are and were no obligations nor any edits of this content by the producers. Products tasted and reviewed by GinGinGin are all equally treated, paid for or free samples. If we like gins we buy them afterwards as well. If we do not like them you will read about it as well. When people ask if we would like to review a bottle, it is the first thing we mention to them that this does not guarantee a positive review. Get in touch to know more about reviews of gins. #Advertising / #Werbung