Løitens Brænderi first started producing aquavit in 1855 and the Løitens Aquavit Three Star has been continuously made since at least the 1950’s (before Norway’s state monopoly was established). The aquavit is rested in Sherry barrels on cargo ships for a minimum of eight months before bottling.
Somewhat harsh nose, with soft caraway and raw base spirit ethanol undertones. Hints of dill seed and other botanicals on the edges. There’s also a soft intimation of sherry on the edges as well, but it’s not the most prominent aroma that you’ll pick up on.
The palate is quite pleasant and nicely balanced. Chewy, caraway and bread notes hit the plate early and stick around throughout.
Caraway with hints of spicy cinnamon bark, and a slight oily orange peel nuance at first. Mid-palate caraway and a hefty dose of ethanol/raw heat. The warmth fades revealing a subtle and pleasant sherry note. It has Manzanilla/fino sherry facets that are really nice. Unlike many sherry-barrel aged spirits, Løitens Three Star doesn’t have any oxidized notes. The finish is clean and terse, with caraway, Manzanilla and earthy, slightly funky notes suggestive of a potato base spirit.
Overall, Løitens Three Star
While the nose was downright disappointing, the palate is where Løitens Three Star really shines. It’s a surprisingly balanced combination of a nice caraway forward spirit and a touchy barrel choice. It’s one of the best sherry barrel aged spirits I’ve had.
The combination results in a well made Norwegian Aquavit that easily punches well above its price. The only downside I can find is the underwhelming nose.
Once you get past that, Løitens Three Star is easy to drink on its own with a nice, balanced flavor.