MBL reports that KHB Brewery in Borgarfjörður eystri, eastern Iceland, has released a new version of an old Icelandic staple: moonshine, better known to locals as landi.
Landi is not usually sold in stores, but is made by home brewers and sold by word of mouth. It has a reputation for potency, as do similar moonshines around the world as well. Although brewing beer and wine at home has become a hobby for many Icelanders, brewing hard liquor such as landi at home is still illegal and can result in arrest.
Due to landi’s reputation as a hard-hitting liquor that you drink more for the effects than the taste, it would seem an unusual choice for an established brewery. Owner Helgi Sigurðsson admits landi doesn’t have the best heritage.
“Landi doesn’t have a good reputation,” he says. “Many have tasted it and get chills just thinking about drinking it. But you have to taste it. It’s not like the old landi. It’s amazingly good.
Helgi said their landi recipe is based on a recipe from a veteran distiller in the area. With a few minor tweaks, KHB was able to create a moonshine worthy of store shelves.
In case you were worried, this moonshine isn’t exactly as powerful as moonshine. While home distilled moonshine tends to be very concentrated in ethyl alcohol, sometimes almost entirely made up of the compound, KHB’s landi is at a much more manageable 38% alcohol volume, which puts it at on par with any other hard spirits you might find on the shelves.