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Oslo Håndverksdestilleri

Oslo Håndverksdestilleri (it’s generally shortened to OHD, and we’re going to continue this trend for all our sakes) was established in the Bryn neighbourhood of Norway's capital city, just a stone's throw from Oslo's longest river, the Alna, in 2015. It was co-founded by Martin Krajewski, Marcin Miller of Number One Drinks and Marius Vestnes of Cask Norway, who brought in Dave Gardonio as the brewer and distiller. A graduate of Edinburgh's Heriot-Watt University and a trained biochemist, Gardonio has since been succeeded by Matt McMillan, an American distiller who spent 5 years working as Senior Distiller at Colorado’s Breckenridge Distillery, who’s move to Norway is attributed to his love of the Norwegian craft distillery movement.

The context within which OHD was established is a key part of the brand’s identity. Since 1927, when the State Wine Monopoly acquired Norway's last operational distillery, the proud local and independent distilling traditions diapated in Norway, a state of affairs that continued through until the 21st Century. Interrupting this long history of state monopolies on alcohol production was a significant motivation for OHD, who defined its brand philosophy on an ability to create high quality artisanal spirits that pay respect to traditional Scandinavian customs within brewing and distilling and which are enriched with classic Nordic botanicals.

All of the ingredients used in the production of OHD spirits are foraged and sourced locally from the land surrounding Oslo, with the aid of a local forager who collects and dries the botanicals from the nearby Marka forest, which is where the Marka Nordic Bitter gets its name from. Once all the elements are collected, OHD distills its spirit in bespoke copper stills such Nicolette, an 850-litre CARL still from Germany which currently registers as Norway’s biggest copper still. The neutral potato spirit used in this process is at present bought from an off-site location, namely Norwegian producer HOFF Norske Potetindustrierand (try saying that with a mouth full of Akevitt.

OHD heats its botanical spirit mix to around 78-80 degrees, before the rising evaporated ethanol is tempered by a cooler bulb-shaped metal, which converts it back into liquid. Following this, the ethanol is processed through a gin basket containing the appropriate botanicals, according to which product is distilled. The sheer size of the basket means that it creates an extremely potent distillate, which is condensed and cooled to form liquid alcohol. From a standard run, OHD tend to have around 300-330 litres of ‘hearts’, the ideal and sought-after part of the spirit.

Bottling on site only takes place when OHD makes its un-aged akevitt, Akevitt Blank or its gin, VIDDA Tørr Gin using a state-of-the-art machine. However, for the cask-aged akevitt, MacMillan will decant it into ex-bourbon barrels sourced from his old haunt, Breckenridge, which are monitored as the flavour develops. For the most part OHD ages its spirits in a storage facility 5km away, although there is a small barrel room on site which will be utilised sometimes.

If you’d like to learn more about this brilliant Nordic distillery, then cast your eye over this excellent blog post, written by our wonderful Features Writer Annie Hayes!

VIDDA Tørr Gin

70cl, 43%

Gin from the Oslo Håndverksdestilleri chaps, following on from their excellent Marka Nordic Bitter. The gin is styled on traditional British dry gin but is made with foraged local botanicals from the…  More info

VIDDA Tørr Gin
10
$42.88
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Fjæra Rosé Gin

70cl, 43%

Norway's Oslo Håndverksdestilleri has started exploring the world of cask-aged gins with Fjæra Rosé Gin. Rather than using more traditional types of cask, the Norwegian distillers have got their…  More info

Fjæra Rosé Gin
$49.32

Oslo Håndverksdestilleri Akevitt Blank

50cl, 45%

An unaged akevitt from Oslo Håndverksdestilleri. Though the Norway-based distillery already features a cask aged akevitt among their range, this isn't simply the same spirit bottled before…  More info

Oslo Håndverksdestilleri Akevitt Blank
$32.15
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Oslo Håndverksdestilleri Akevitt

70cl, 41%

Cask aged akevitt from Norway's Oslo Håndverksdestilleri (producers of the brilliant Marka Nordic Bitter). A traditional spirit of Norwegian heritage, distilled using a selection of 13 botanicals,…  More info

Oslo Håndverksdestilleri Akevitt
$40.28
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Marka Nordic Bitter

50cl, 35%

The first product from Oslo Håndverksdestilleri (which will be the first production distillery to open in Norway since 1927), offering a taste of the Norwegian forest! These bitters are made with 16…  More info

Marka Nordic Bitter
1
$28.93
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