Valkyria : the first distilled Swedish absinthe
Over at Lindesber, Sweden, Göran Bauerle and Henrik Larsson work inside the walls of a church where is installed the Sankta Annas Bränneri distillery (source : absinthes.com). They decided to produce a first quality distilled Swedish absinthe, which they branded Valkyria. Since they have been kind enough to propose us, via absinthes.com ’s Andrew White, a fitting sample, we can propose you our point of view on this new product.
Nose over the bottle, the fragrances are enticing, with a fruity anise and touch of wood. The color is nice, a very fine and natural green, revealing a natural coloration. The guys at Sankta Annas Bränneri got that part quite well.
The louche is thick, milky, probably due to a strong presence of star anise. The final whiff coming out of the glass is far stronger in anise also, yet still interesting.
The Valkyria definitely tastes good, MM Bauerle and Larsson deserve praise for having reached such a level on the first try. The overal profile is quite leveled, and very warm, and yet has a fresh bite. The anise taste is powerful, maybe a bit too powerful : the star anise tends to overpower everything else, and would deserve on a future batch to be toned down a bit. Still, the quality of the plants is good, and once you have had your first sips, you can discern this quality in the other mid-profile plants, with for example a very good melissa, bringing citrusy tones which participate in the fresh bite. The wormwood is a bit too shy, which is a shame since once again it is interesting quality wise.
You will end your glass with a warm palate, and a clean and fresh aftertaste.
Therefore, overall, we are quite pleased with this Valkyria. There are still adjustments to be done for us to buy it on a regular basis, such as toning down the anise (is the star anise all that necessary ?), and bringing up the wormwood.
Valkyria is 136 proof (68°), distributed in 50cL bottles for 36€/$45, which is a very fair price regarding the range and quality. You can find it at absinthes.com