Review: Vinland Aquavit (Confluence Distilling) / by Jason Hambrey

Image courtesy of Confluence Distilling.

Image courtesy of Confluence Distilling.

Alberta wheat with botanicals
Distiller Confluence Distilling (Calgary, AB)

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. It is fantastic in cocktails.

Confluence uses caraway, dill, and other locally disitlled botanicals to create its aquavit, bottled at a punchy 50%. It is named Vinland after the name given to North America by Viking explorers.

Review (2021)

  • Batch: 021

  • Bottling Date: ~2021

  • Bottling Code: N/A

Quite caraway forward, but full of classic aquavit notes -dill, spice, dried lemon peel, and a nice spirit-forward character. It is quite herbal. It doesn’t have strong citrusy notes, but the complementary pairings almost beg for some fresh lemon. This, I suppose, is why aquavit is such a popular mixing spirit.

The palate is big, full of caraway at the front and dill on the back. It has a nice spiciness to it – a bit like white pepper – and the herbal notes are deep, I even get hints of fresh basil.  The finish is freshly herbal, but still with some fennel, caraway, and a tough more basil.

The ABV of 50 percent is perfect. This is a punchy drink, on the fuller-bodied side compared to some aquavits which can be quite light. Right up my alley.

Assessment: Very Highly Recommended.