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Tuesday, May 20, 2008

Tuesday Tasting: Vana Tallinn

Tuesday Tasting is a regular feature of Lyke2Drink that explores some of the best beers, wines and spirits on the market. This week we try some liqueur direct from the Baltic Sea.

In a recent Tuesday Tasting I mentioned that occasionally friends will bring me a bottle of something that I've never previously experienced. This time Eric Mower brought me a bottle of "likoor" from Estonia where he had gone to speak to a marketing conference. It was a get well gift after my recent surgery and a nice one indeed.

Vana Tallinn is a traditional drink of Estonia and popular throughout the Baltic countries. It packs a stealth punch in a pleasant package. The Vana Tallinn I sampled was 80 proof. Liviko also distills 90 proof and 100 proof varieties, plus a 32 proof cream liqueur.

The most important thing I can say about Vana Tallinn is that I would have never guessed it was as strong as 80 proof because all of the flavors and spices mask the alcohol.This is a dangerous shooter. You could be forgiven for thinking you were drinking a liqueur that is half as strong.

That said, this is a very distinctive and satisfying drink. It has an attractive reddish brown color. The first aroma out of the bottle is citrus, but the overall flavor is dominated by cinnamon with hints of vanilla and a touch of orange peel. The vanilla starts to take control of the fragrance the longer you linger over the drink.

You can sip Vana Tallinn as a nightcap or serve it on the rocks with some cream. It also is used in a number of mixed drinks, but you should try it neat to start.

If your travel plans do not call for a trip to the Baltic nations, you now are in luck. Matrics Importing has justed started bringing Vana Tallinn into the U.S. It is in limited distribution at the moment in Illinois and Maryland.


Anonymous said...

i saw this bottle in our underground at the house. hehe

Anonymous said...

I would like to try it, since vanilla and cinnamon make a good combination.

Anonymous said...

I made a vanilla-Vana Tallinn ice cream this weekend and must say it was the best damn ice cream. I wish America would discover this drink so that it would be more readily available! My source in Chicago is out of it; I hope they get more.

Anonymous said...

Looks like I should start exporting it to America :D I'm from Estonia :D How much would ya pay ?:D

It is one hell of a good drink, I used to be more into whisky's, but I fell in love with Vana Tallinn + coffe cream... mmm... :P

Rick Lyke said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Rick Lyke said...

You're just a little late. Matrics Importing (I think out of the Chicago area) is importing the product.

Anonymous said...

I have tried it and loved it. Would like to find somewhere in Houston, Texas. Brought back two bottles when I was there, but it is all gone neow.

Unknown said...

Spec's has told me that if their distributor would bring it to Houston they would buy it and carry it. I just spoke with the importer and will pursue this angle next week. Matrics Importing. You should do the same and maybe we can get it here.

Ron Higgins Houston, Texas