The Helsinki Distilling Company opened doors in 2014 and was the first distillery in Helsinki in over a century. They produce a variety of gin and traditional aquavits.
Helsinki Akvavit features both traditional aquavit botanicals: dill seed and local Finnish-grown caraway seed. Additionally lemon and fennel are added. The botanicals are soaked in grain spirit before distillation. It is aged in French Oak before bottling.
Color: Straw and light golden.
Nose: Helsinki Akvavit is rich and spiced with dry fruit notes as well. Heavy fennel seed, with hints of vanillin and dried plum. A touch of heat as well. This is a complex and powerful aromatic aquavit.
Flavor: Spice and complex. Toasted dill seed dominates early while later sweet oily caraway and chewy fennel begin to suggest robust spice. Notes of cloves, orange rind, apricots, and unctuous licorice.
Finish: Moderately long and warm with little heat— flavored with heady fennel and licorice.
The nose is one of the best parts of this spirit. Chilling does increase the viscosity and richness of this aquavit, but it also mutes the nose a bit. This is a nice room temperature aquavit.
The complex botanical bill does lend it nicely to mixing. Try it paired with Aperol and citrus. This cocktail (the Nordic Summer) is an ideal option.
Overall, Helsinki Akvavit
Helsinki Akvavit is an aromatically complex aquavit with lots of fruit and herbal notes beyond the requisite botanicals. This aquavit will appeal to gin drinkers who like botanical complexity and aquavit fans who enjoy the Swedish, fennel-forward style.