When it comes to spirits, this is a little off the beaten track. Picked up in Amsterdam, it was carried carefully across several borders to its new home in Vancouver. However, this is a spirit that was aged in old Sherry casks and driven by freighter over the equator and back before even being bottled. So, it’s no slouch in the ‘international travel’ category.
Yes, that’s the hook Linie has for its prestige bottlings of Norwegian Aquavit – aged by travelling over the equator and back in old Sherry casks. You can actually peer into the back of the bottle and see where your particular one travelled prior to owning it!
However, what is Aquavit exactly?
It hails from Scandanavia and in some countries it’s also referred to as Akvavit. Essentially it’s distilled from either grain or potatoes and then infused with botanicals. In this sense it can be thought of as being similar first to vodka but moreso to gin because of the infusion. However, whereas gin must be focused primarily on juniper berries, Aquavit smells and tastes primarily of caraway or dill – along with dozens of other herbal and root-based goodies.
This version is a pale gold and distilled from potatoes with aromas of fennel, anise, citrus peel, pumpernickel and rye bread. There is also some nutmeg and ginger, possibly from the time spent in those old Sherry casks which have also rounded out the corners very nicely.
The palate is warming and lightly creamy with intense herbs showing star anise, more fennel, cardamom, caraway and roots alongside orange oil.
A WSET Very Good spirit. Perfect with your next course of pickled herring (’cause I know you eat that all the time), smoked cheddar or salmon.