29 June 2012

Finlandia Vodka

Finland is the nation that brought the world Moomin, Linux, an earworm-inducing nonsense song, and around a hundred gold medal winners in the Winter Olympics over the years.

Finland had a rough time during the first half of the 20th century. Right before WWII there was the Winter War, in which Finns fought against the advancing Russians. A hero of this conflict was the sniper Simo Häyhä, who holds the record for the most sniper kills in any war: 505. The nation chose to side with the Germans during the big global conflict, and there were lots of countries between the USSR and western Europe that made the same hard decision during those years.

Finlandia Vodka
$20/1.75L, 40% abv.

The six-row barley is distilled into alcohol at Koskenkorva, and then is diluted with glacial water at the Altia Oyj corporation in Rajamäki. The bottle has been recently re-designed to appear like melting ice to reflect the origin of the water used to soften the distilled alcohol.

I've tried this straight and with various cocktails, and while it's not particularly remarkable (not sweet or herbal or anything else), it is incredibly smooth and a great bargain. It works quite well with Screwdrivers and Vodka Martinis and other cocktails, and is highly recommended as a mixer. The bottle looks nice on the bar shelf and the deep grooves in the lower part of the bottle allow for an easy grip.

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