Altia opens a new aquavit distillery

Altia, the Finish-based wine and spirits company serving the Nordic and Baltic countries, has opens a new distillery in Sundsvall, Sweden.

All of Altia's Swedish aquavit production will be concentrated in the same facility, named the O.P. Anderson Distillery.

The beverages that will be produced in the O.P. Anderson distillery are: flagship O.P. Anderson aquavit along with other Swedish snaps classics such as Skåne aquavit, Gammal Norrlands aquavit, Hallands Fläder and Bäska Droppar.

Jonas Odland, Altia master blender, said: “Gathering everything in one place is a great advantage in terms of experimentation. Here we can experiment with new flavours and invest in creativity and innovation.”

The company says the new facility is operated in collaboration with the pharmaceutical company Unimedic and is situated in Matfors, Sundsvall. The idea is to gather all parts of the aquavit production in one location: spice distillation, spice extraction, blending and maturation of Swedish aquavit, things that ensure the preservation of the cultural heritage on Swedish land in terms of beverages.

“They feel strongly about our products in Sundsvall. For Swedish aquavit, it is like coming home: In the past Swedish spirits were produced here, including our flavored spirits,” said Odland.

Altia says the move to Sundsvall has been made from, among other places, Vin & Sprit’s old factory in Åhus, Skåne. The things transported north include a large number of oak barrels previously used for maturation of cognac, oloroso sherry and Scottish malt whisky.

The barrels, now impregnated with flavouring, help give the classic Swedish aquavits their unique flavor. In addition, nine so-called resting oak barrels were transported, each with a capacity of 5,000 litres and a 100 years of history, initially for brandy storage but currently used to age O.P. Anderson for six months before bottling.

Odland said: “The heart of production is our three distillation pots. We have acquired real copper pots, which were central to the original method for making aquavit. Previously we used stainless steel pots but now we have chosen to return to traditional methods instead. The challenge for me as master blender has consisted of getting the spiced spirits to taste the same with this equipment as with the old equipment.”

The Unimedic Group has many years of experience and extensive expertise within the manufacturing, development, distribution, sales and marketing of pharmaceuticals. The company was founded in 1992 and is based in Matfors, Sweden.

Altia produces, markets, sells, imports and exports alcoholic beverages. Its own brands include Blossa, Chill Out, Koskenkorva, Larsen, Renault, O.P. Anderson, Valhalla and Xanté.