Norden Aquavit hails not from Denmark but from Detroit, where founder Robyn Cleveland crafts this Scandinavia-inspired spirit with 10 botanicals, heavy on the caraway.
We received a sample and collected some thoughts.
First off, the nose is an iconic example of Scandinavian aquavit, heavy with the caraway essence of rye bread as well as a smattering of dill weed. At no point does it come across as an American imitation; it tastes just like “the real thing,” through and through. The palate is precisely on message and straightforward — all caraway with an edge of dill. If there are 8 other botanicals in the mix — clementine, sumac, orris, sage, angelica, juniper, and anise, according to Norden — I couldn’t pick them out. The finish however comes across as lightly sweet, with just a touch of anise apparent.
Norden feels fully like it’s straight outta the old country, clean and herbal, without a trace of heat. I’ll leave it to the Scandis to raise any objections, because I can’t really find them.