GILDE CHRISTMAS AQUAVIT 2023
Each year since 1988 Gilde Juleaquavit has been produced using the same method. Under the unique Solera method, every year a portion of Christmas aquavit is saved and used as the basis for the next year's vintage. So Gilde Juleaquavit will always include drops of all the previous vintages,
One part of the aquavit is matured one year, one part is aged two years and the last part is the unique «mother share» from the last 33 vintages.
This means that it contains noble drops from all vintages ever produced.
36 YEARS WITH GILDE CHRISTMAS AQUAVIT
Civil engineer Halvor Heuch applies for a position as a distiller. He has a passion for increasing awareness of Norwegian food and beverage culture.
Old recipes and spice distilling are studied, and for the first Christmas aquavit, the main spices chosen are caraway, star anise, aniseed, fennel, orris root and angelica seeds.
The blend is held in a new sherry cask that had been stored at Vinmonopolet in Trondheim from an earlier purchase, and around 120,000 litres are produced.
Around half is sold and the rest is included in the next year's Christmas aquavit. '
This was the start of the Solera method, which is still used today.
This year sees the start of bottle design using well-known Norwegian motifs on the labels. “Coaching Inn” by
F. Thaulow from 1891 is the first motif, and the bottle is much praised for its design, including by Aftenposten.
The newspaper also praises the bottle's contents, giving it top marks, while emphasising that lutefisk cannot be enjoyed without Christmas aquavit.
In 1993, the Norwegian motifs are followed up with "High Street in Lillehammer" by Fredrik Collett, and "Birkebeiner Race" by Knud Bergslien in 1995.
The Christmas aquavit celebrates its tenth anniversary and aquavit lovers look forward to the year's anniversary vintage being available on Vinmonopolet's shelves.
Gilde Juleaquavit takes a top ranking in a competition to find the world's best aquavit. This year's version is a more full-bodied aquavit than before.
It is enriched with vanilla, caraway and other spices such as coriander, grains of paradise, angelica and anise, which make the aquavit complex and fulsome, with a dry after-taste.
In this year, an aquavit for lutefisk is also launched, as well as a sheep's head aquavit, which can only be purchased in Voss.
The millennium aquavit is celebrated with the launch of a new type of bottle, which is still used today.
The spices used are caraway, coriander, star anise, anise, fennel, orris root, angelica seeds and dill seeds.
This aquavit is an immediate success, and distiller Halvor Heuch is praised for his work in the blending room.
The Christmas aquavit upholds the traditions, with a fine aroma and elegant after-taste.
In 2003 the verdict of VG's test panel is clear: the drops of Gilde Juleaquavit are so delightful that it is named as the best among 15 different aquavits.
Torkjell Berulfsen says that the "aquavit reaches every part of your body". In design terms, the bottle is launched with a transparent label. It is so popular that this design is continued until 2014.
2013 is the first year that Gilde Juleaquavit is produced after Arcus' move to Gjelleråsen the year before. Several thousand litres of Solera base are also moved.
This vintage is appreciated as an especially good match for Christmas dishes and is praised by the critics. The 2013 bottle is also the first time that the year of production is a more central aspect of the design.
This makes it easier to distinguish the different vintages and helps Gilde Juleaquavit to consolidate its position as a collector's item.
For three decades, GILDE JULEAQUAVIT has been a permanent feature on Norwegian dining tables all over the country. The 30th vintage is a recognition of Halvor's invaluable contribution to the history of aquavit, honouring its special position in Norwegian Christmas traditions.