The Fjords, Norwegian salmon, the Nobel Prize Awards, the composers Edvard Greig and Henrik Ibsen, explorers Thor Heyerdahl and Amundsen ....the diverse list goes on. Then of course don’t forget the Vikings, the latter represent one of the best ‘brands’ on the planet.
What about Aquavit you may be thinking....does that deserve to be on the Norwegian list, bearing in mind that it is also produced throughout Scandinavia and Northern Germany? Well Norway’s Linie Aquavit certainly does deserve a listing, not just because their version of Aquavit must be made only from potato spirits (Norwegian distillers call potatoes the grapes of the north), it must only be aged in wood, and it must never be served freezing cold.
No, the reason is because of some devilishly clever marketing, allied to claims that in its preparation the product is enhanced without parallel. To spell it out, Linie Aquavit from Norway is famous for it’s unique voyage. The characteristic flavour develops in sherry casks on a voyage. The vessels sail to Australia and back crossing the equator twice. During this voyage the Aquavit is exposed to shifting temperatures and humidity, and constant rolling of waves. This has played a significant role in the maturation of Linie for more than 200 years. Readers of Sea Breezes familiar with the product would, as the Aquavit is consumed, have been able to read the reverse of the front label for more details of the content of your bottle.
It has become traditional that the casks are carried on Wilh Wilhemsen ships.
At this point you might be wondering what connection is there, if any, related to the cruise Industry. Well there is a connection, confirmed by Gunnar Lepsoe MD of Cruise Specialisten in Bergen and former Chairman of Cruise Europe. In the eighties he worked for Norwegian American Line. The casks were carried at various times by several cruise vessels. The most well known was the then Sagafjord that carried a number of barrels on world cruises and afterwards bottled and marketed it for gifts and use onboard the NAL ships.