Bishan Kumar

For us Indians, Finland is still an unexplored destination in our bucket list. We all  want to head off to this Northern European country to soak in the history around Baltic sea countries, watch with fascination its beautiful cities and then travel down to   the country’s Arctic Lapland province to get overawed by the  Northern Lights. But we know very  little about its high quality spirits and beers, except Finlandia vodka.  I got a chance to taste Finland’s high quality alcohol beverages when Ambassador Excellency,  Ms Nina Vaskunlahti hosted the   first Finnish delegation of vodka, craft beers, ciders and gin producers at her residence. 

She was charm personified and  invited the guests  to interact with the delegation. The delegation is scheduled to go to Bengaluru after Delhi.

Since, Spiritz keeps getting queries from importers about new products interested in India, I decided to open  a window to the participating companies and their products for their better understanding. I have also given the   contact details under each company for an easy connect.

The product like Tenu Gin, Altia and Laplandia Vodka, craft beers from Mallaskoski & Stadin Brewing and cider variants from Wirvoitusjuomatehdas are of a rare high quality. Each product is like an artisan product. The only difficulty these products might face in India is their high ex work price. If they could somehow work around it, the prospects would be good here.

Till then, Cheers to Baltic beauties in bottles! 

Koskenkorva Vodka & Valhalla Herbal Liqueur

Altia Plc, founded in founded in 1888  is the market leading wine and spirits company offering quality brands in the Nordic and Baltic countries. It Of many products it produces and deals with, Koskenkorva Vodka and Valhalla Herbal Liqueur are the best known.

Koskenkorva Vodka is made from nature’s best ingredients, the world’s northernmost barley and spring water. It is 100% unfiltered, but due to the state-of-the-art distillation process it is one of the smoothest, purest vodkas in the world. Koskenkorva has been distilled in the village of Koskenkorva since 1953.

 

Valhalla Herbal Liqueur is a herbal shot with a strong character. It is made with Koskenkorva Vodka as the base and a mix of herbs – mainly Achillea Millefolium (yarrow), Artemesia absinthium (wormwood) and Angelica archangelica (angelica). Different herbs are carefully selected, extracted and distilled. The recipe is blended, then matured to allow the unique spices to meld together. This produces and interesting combination of citrus, bitter herbs and spices rounded off licorice root. The taste is strong, gently bitter, sweet, rough and complex with a fresh aftertaste.

Contact:

Pontus Forth

Business Development Director

+358 40 129 1909

Pontus.forth@altiacorporation.com 

KUKKO craft beers, OIVA Nordic Cider, SKUMPPA sparkling cider

Laitilan Wirvoitusjuomatehdas Oy (LWT) was founded in 1995 in the small rural town of Laitila, in the South-West of Finland by four local entrepreneurs.. Right from the start it had been the innovator and forerunner in the industry, and loved especially by those who seek quality alternatives for mass produced beverages. It  created the world’s first gluten free full malt beer and were the first brewery in Finland to adopt can as a packaging format. Starting from a small garage, it has now grown to become the largest craft brewery in Nordic countries with a modern brewery in the heart of Laitila town. It now exports to a dozen different countries in Europe and Asia.

LWT produces gluten-free beers, craft beers, ciders, long drinks and retro-style soft drinks. For its export activities it concentrates on gluten-free beers KUKKO, special craft beers, cider brand OIVA Nordic Cider, SKUMPPA sparkling cider and Finnish style long drinks GINI and BRANDY.

 

The  products come in bottles and cans and they are suitable for sale everywhere; in retail stores, restaurants, bars and cafes. LWT produces drinks from the purest Finnish natural ingredients and with – as noted by UNESCO – the best water in the world

 

Contact:

Marko Mikkola

Export Sales Director

+358 50 410 2078

marko.mikkola@laitilan.com

Gustav Vodka & Liqueurs

Gustav family is artisans of arctic luxury liqueurs and vodkas. In 1852 their great-great-great-grandfather Gustav Ranin started the family business by purchasing the Crown Distillery, founded in 1783 in the city of Kuopio by King Gustav III of Sweden.

The delicious, ripe berries of the arctic forests have been extracted into delicious liqueurs for several centuries. This Scandinavian artisan tradition lives on in the  family’s arctic liqueurs, made with extracts of pure, natural berries- and nothing else. Arctic weather conditions add their own little challenges that necessitate a dash of innovation and humility- and perhaps a stubborn refusal to give up.

Whether you prefer aromatic liqueurs, smooth vodkas or fine wines, you can enjoy any Gustav product in beautiful cocktails- or simply as is. In cocktails, the pure, natural flavors of Gustav products are paired with other high-quality ingredients to form a refined, pleasing combination.

Contact: Slava Arion, Export Manager , +358 40 652 8916, Slava.arion@lignellpiispanen.fi

Harri Nylund, Managing Director, +358 44 585 2561, Harri.nylund@lignellpiispanen.fi    

MALLASKOSKI Craft Beers

Welcome to the dark side of brewing. Rural and dark Northern nature has always been the fountain of inspiration for brewing at the Finnish Mallaskoski brewery. In our beers you can taste the strong Nordic temper and the world’s cleanest waters.

At Mallaskoski the sun doesn’t shine, life isn’t rosy, nor do people shoot the breeze. In 1921 the founder of the brewery, Johan Wallenius, started the making of his beverages in a dreary washhouse. In 1928 Wallenius decided to buy land next to rumbling falls nearby, and known around the country for it’s exquisiteness and was even shipped abroad.

Even today the murky Mallaskoski beers are man-made, without additives, using the same traditional yeast and the world’s most pure water while the thundering falls grumble in the background.

Mallaskoski Brewery produces today roughly 40 different beers, made with its own style, using fresh and local ingredients. They are specialized in dark ales, but Pils is one of the most sought after lager beers both in domestic – and export markets. Besides traditional ingredients , the company  sources both inspiration and raw materials for its beers from the wild forest. In its current production it uses fresh pine cones, birch leaves , bark and also birch sap in the beers.

 

r brewery is located in north-west Finland at Seinajoki exports to China and Russia  besides Nordic countries.

Contact:  Tommi Ruuska,  Business Unit Lead, +358 40 861 6777, tommi.ruuska@mallaskoski.fi

Laplandia Vodk

Shaman Spirits, one of the most northernmost distilleries in the world, was founded in 1998 and began distilling soon at the turn of the millennium. From the beginning its  main vision has been to boutique-like distillery which is known for its product quality and authenticity.

 

Laplandia Vodka is its  main export brand and its undisputed quality and purity has been proven and confirmed by multiple international tasting awards. One of the main characteristics of this vodka is the untreated groundwater of Lake Hirsijarvi. This water is organic and arguably the cleanest and softest in the world, without going through any treatments. Its naturally record-low lime an metal contents and high oxygen content entail a soft and fresh outcome, which eventually leads to inconceivably smooth vodka.

All Laplandia products are made using only natural ingredients and are decorated with 24 karat gold.

Contact: Moshe David,  International Sales Director, +358 50 500 4443

moshe@shamanspirits.com

STADIN Craft Beers

Stadin Brewing Company, Finland’s most award-winning brewery by far, has a flair for the experimental. Stadi is the nickname of Helsinki, a name that dates from the late 19th century and is still in use. The  brewery is located in the heart of the old gas factory site, next to the awe-inspiring gasometer buildings in the city center.

Over its 20-year history, Stadin Brewing has brewed over 1000 different commercial beers, using dozens of specialized malts and over a hundred aroma hop varieties from several continents. It brews only the world’s purest Finnish malts using the cleanest water in order to provide exceptional quality in every bottle. Its claim to fame is its  versatile and ever-changing selection of specialty beers with multiple malts and generous aromatic hops.

Stadin Brewing continues to pioneer new craft beer styles and spices beers. In its constant pursuit of new, innovative ingredients including spices and fruits, hybrid yeasts, and novel-and, unconventional- processing methods.

Contact:

Timo Konttinen, Founder, Timo.konttinen@standinpanimo.fi

Anne-Marie Aaltonen, Board Member, aaltonen.ama@gmail.com

TENU GIN

If you are looking for spirits with colourful and strong character, look no further, Tenu Ventures creates remarkable experiences for all senses. The gins are crafted in Valamo Monastery Distillery deep in the serene and dark forests of Eastern Finland. Tenu begun merely as a cultural project, but the distinctive and complex aroma of the gin and the praised visual identity soon made it an internationally sought-after specialty.

 

Tenu Gin- Forest Blend is company’s core product, it belongs in the super premium category. The ingredients include wild rose petals from the purest archipelago of the world, local wild lingon berries, rare aromatic roots and premium juniper berries. The ingredients need to survive the harsh winter to enjoy the lush summer of Finland and its midnight sun. The 47% alcohol content is optimal for the most ambitious cocktails and smooth gin & tonics. The whole process is slow and labour heavy, from foraging the ingredients to a gentle settling time before bottling.

The recipe and the process are developed by multi-talented chef, musician and restaurateur Antto Melasniemi, the stunning labels of Tenu spirits are created by artist and illustrator Klaus Haapaniemi, both founders of Tenu.

Contact:  Mikko Levoska,  Business Development Director, +358 40 501 6368, mikko@tenugin.com

 

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