Finnish vodka Koskenkorva unveils new range

30 April 2016

Koskenkorva Vodka is celebrating its Finnish roots - and its village origins in particular - with a new product range and an overhaul of its packaging.

Most notable is the new Sauna Barrel variant, with its six months of ageing in oak barrels. It might say vodka on the label, but we're in light whisky territory here, with a mild smokiness too. This is one to sip in the summer, or to employ in some light versions of classic whisky cocktails. It makes a good julep, for example - the brand's suggestion is to combine it with mint, sweet vermouth, cola syrup and a dash of absinthe.

The new Blueberry Juniper, on the other hand, might sound more like gin on paper, but the blueberry flavour is more evident than the juniper. The final flavour is Lemon Lime Yarrow, with generous citrus combining with a herbal note. The fourth and final spirit in the range is Koskenkorva Original, made with local barley and unchanged since the brand's creation in 1953.

The brand has a signature serve that can be used with any of the variants in the range, a versatile drink called the Village Mar-Tea-Ni (pictured, right). Containing lemon juice, honey syrup and loose leaf Earl Grey tea, it's served in a rustic-looking pottery cup.

The packaging for the four variants has been completely overhauled, highlighting Koskenkorva's origins in the village of the same name. There's a tongue-in-cheek advertising campaign too.

The new range and packaging was launched this week at a party in Helsinki, but the new bottles have already arrived in the UK via Indie Brands. The brand's presence might be small in the UK so far, but it's ubiquitous in its home country, and there are plans to grow the brand in the UK and further afield.

Also keep an eye out for Koskenkorva Valhalla, a herb liqueur in a serious-looking matte-black bottle.

'We are not a bling bling vodka for rappers,' explained Kirsi Puntila, marketing and spirits category director for the brand's owner Altia. 'We are a product made with integrity and a touch of humour.'

Original 40% abv, Flavours 37.5% abv, Indie Brands, 01474 327056

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