Malmaison hosts UK trade launch of authentic Arctic spirits

Red carpet event introduces Edinburgh on-trade to the world’s most northern distillery 

Edinburgh’s Malmaison hotel has played host to the UK trade launch of Bivrost spirits from Aurora Spirit, the most northern distillery in the world.
Guests were invited to taste the range of spirits, which include gin, vodka, aquavit and a maturing whisky, from the distillery which opened in 2015 and is located 350km inside the Arctic Circle, near Tromso in Norway, at the recent red carpet event.
They also enjoyed a taste of Arctic culture in the form of music, canapes flown in from Norway and a taste of Norse tradition.
Handcrafted under the glow of the Northern Lights at the foot of the majestic Lyngen Alps, the new distillery uses filtered, melting 5000-year-old glacial water and locally harvested botanicals to ensure a unique product of Arctic Norway.
Aurora Spirit distillery under the Northern Lights
Tor-Petter Christensen of Aurora Spirit said: “Bivrost is the name the Vikings gave the Northern Lights and was seen as a magical bridge from the home world to the realms of Norse Gods. Today, it represents the bridge between hectic modern life and the adventurous spirit of the Arctic.
“Using some of the latest technology in our state of the art distillery, we have been able to create a unique range of spirits which truly represent Arctic Norway. Our 24-hour daylight summers provide special characteristics and ripen the berries in double quick time, producing berries bursting with intense fruit flavours.
“At Aurora Spirit, we’ve taken a lot of inspiration from the success of the Scottish spirits industry and are delighted to be able to bring a little bit of Norway to the UK. Our gin comes highly recommended from Norway, so we’re looking forward to hearing what people in the UK think.”
Aurora Spirit also has a close connection to Scotland, with co-founder Colin Houston hailing from the small Scottish town of Oban.
With that in mind, it has struck up a unique partnership with Scotland’s oldest distillery, Glenturret Distillery, with the two swapping skills, ideas and successes since meeting in 2015.
Aurora Spirit Directors visited Glenturret, which is the ‘spiritual home’ of The Famous Grouse, on a fact-finding mission and say they were impressed with how The Famous Grouse Experience and Glenturret Distillery work as both a working distillery and visitor attraction.
Its own whisky, which is currently being stored in old, secret tunnels drilled into the hillside and underground chambers on a peninsula overlooking Lyngen Fjord on the site of an old NATO base which once tracked Russian submarines, will be available in 2019 after maturing in casks sourced from Speyside Cooperage, which lies in the heart of the Scottish Speyside Malt Whisky Trail.
Facts about Aurora Spirit
  • At a latitude of 69° inside the Arctic Circle, Aurora Spirit is the most northerly distillery in the world, just east of Tromso
  • Aurora Spirit is also one of the newest distilleries in the world after being founded in 2015, officially and opening as visitor attraction in summer 2016.
  • The idea came from a group of three friends, who agreed that there was a real lack of local quality drinks for the fast-growing northern lights industry.
  • It was after a trip to Scotland that one of the founders, Hans, launched the idea of building an Arctic Distillery.
  • Bivrost® is a registered trademark, owned by AuroraSpirit AS, NORWAY. Producing several types of alcohol; Gin, Vodka, Aquavit and Whisky under the same brand name.
  • In the old mythology, the Vikings named the northern lights Bivrost. It was seen as a magical bridge from the homeworld of humans in the world called Midgard, to the realms of the Norse Gods of Asgard.
  • Bivrost® is handcrafted under the glow of the Northern Lights, at the foot of the majestic Lyngen Alps. Melting water from glaciers is purified and combined with locally harvested botanicals to ensure a unique product of Arctic Norway
  • The first run of whisky was produced in mid-November and will be left to mature for at least 3 years.
  • The name Aurora Spirit comes from the Aurora Borealis – the northern lights which dance over the distillery – and ‘Spirit’ as related to both state of mind or personality, as well as the alcohol.
  • The visitor experience centre offers visitors the chance to enjoy some of Norway’s scenery and best arctic experiences including dog sledding, snowmobile safari, hot tubs, snow shoe experiences, mountain treks, accommodation, Sami cultural experiences and fast RIB trips on the fjord.