Review: Compass Aquavit / by Jason Hambrey

Image courtesy of Compass Distillers

Image courtesy of Compass Distillers

Nova Scotia corn and wheat with botanicals
Distiller Compass (Halifax, NS)

Aquavit is a spirit which is very popular in Scandinavia - it is made in a similar fashion to a gin, but with a very different flavour focus. While gin is focused on juniper and citrus, aquavit is focused on caraway, herbs, and spices. Compass makes their aquavit using caraway, dill, and fennel.

The aquavit began as an R&D product, but quickly was commissioned as a larger scale product once the balance was achieved. I find aquavits to be very interesting and hold a lot of potential for small producers, so I’m glad to see some more of them coming out.

Review (2021)

  • Batch: N/A

  • Bottling Date: 2020

  • Bottling Code: N/A

The nose here is loaded with caraway and cumin, dill, and woody spices like brown cardamom. The palate keeps up the caraway and dill character, with generous herbaceous and dried lemon peel notes. The spices pick up nicely in the clean, herbal, and spicy finish that carries with it an impression of sweetness.

Mixes great in cocktails, too.

Assessment: Highly Recommended.