Stockholm Syndrome Aquavit is part of Australian Based Never Never Distilling Co.’s Dark Series.
First off, the Dark Series is what they call their limited edition released of products that may be experimental and are not part of their core lineup.
I was excited— incredibly excited when I heard that Never Never had created an Aquavit. The distillery is well respected in the gin community for their unabashedly juniper-forward releases. I’ve gushed about their Triple Juniper and Southern Strength Gin on this site before.
There is only one style of Aquavit protected under the new European Union Spirit Laws and that is Swedish style. It’s characterized by a milder flavor supported by fennel seed. Stockholm Syndrome Aquavit rightfully can be described as of that style.
Where Stockholm Syndrome Aquavit deviates from the normal Aquavit, is the playful use of indigenous Australian botanicals, something gin producers in Australia have been doing extensively in the last decade.
Cinnamon Myrtle appears in Botanic Australis Gin, and is a local rainforest tree so named because its leaves evoke comparisons to cinnamon and cassia in flavor.
Strawberry Gum is a kind of eucalyptus consumed as a bushfood spice in Australia and as a perfume ingredient. The leaves contain a high concentration of the compound Methyl Cinnamate, which when used on its own has an aroma of balsamic cinnamon and strawberry. Also its found in strawberries themselves.
Stockholm Syndrome Aquavit is a little less bold and more subtle than other aquavits when sipped. This is usually suggestive of the Swedish style.
Nutty, caraway is present at first; however the role of the fennel seed is clear right from the outset. A slight creaminess diminishes some of the assertive spice notes.
Stockholm Syndrome Aquavit becomes more herbal as the palate unfolds. Hints of fennel frond and melissa occupy background space as a gentle wave of spice comes over the back of the palate. A hint of cassia is present on the finish.
This is a mild aquavit with a clean flavor and an unfolding palate that takes you on quite a nice journey. Stockholm Syndrome Aquavit stands in contrast to Never Never’s gins. If you thought that everything they did was bold and in your face, you might be surprised. This spirit is an exercise in subtlety.
Because of the subtlety in the botanicals— Stockholm Syndrome Aquavit is less successful in cocktails. True, it’s 45% ABV, but I found that in a Trident some of the nuance was lost. I strongly suggest this as an aquavit for sipping neat.
Overall, Stockholm Syndrome Aquavit
This is a delicious Swedish-style Aquavit best suited for sipping. If you’re looking for a mixing aquavit, I suggest looking for something bolder.
*Special thanks to Wellington, NZ based Hawthorn Lounge for sharing Stockholm Syndrome Aquavit with me.