Maturing Whisky in casks is a science of its own. Because of the arctic temperature we are using relatively smaller casks for faster maturation. We store our Whisky in a lot of different cask types (Sherry, Bourbon, Sauterne, Madeira, Viring oak and more). As we are producing the norwegian aquavit, there is also the possibility of using Aquavit casks for maturation as well.
The arctic (polar) circle
What is the Arctic?
First ever Bivrost Whisky will be ready in:
Bivrost® Whisky 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 wash from Mack brewery ensure a ‐unique product of Arctic Norway. Our first batch was put in cask in Nov 2016 and will be ready Nov 2019. We will launch the first batches on the market in spring 2020.
Mack brewery delivers our wash, made by pur specification. Mack are close to us and have some of the best competence and experience in Norway for making beer (which also relates to Whisky). Their production plant is situated 70 km south of us, at a place called Nordkjosbotn. Our head distiller has worked as a brewer at Mack for more than 20 years and knows all possibilities related to making our wash. He works closely with the production team at Mack in order to secure the right quality for our wash. The trailer from Mack delivers about 9000 l. of wash each time, which we distill 1200 l. per batch. We use “brewers yeast” during the fermentation process – which ensure sweetness and roundness to the wash and ultimately the new make.
Our still (“GERD”) was delivered from Germany. “Kothe Destillationstechnik” is a traditional German company specializing in copper and steel processing. Based on the unique competence of the renowned engineer Leif Nerhammar, Aurora Spirit has developed a still designed for making several types of alcohol. With our combination of pot and column stills, we can make vodka, gin, aquavit and whisky. Owing to solid quality and energy saving compounds, the still has a long working life and low energy consumption. A water bath or steam heats mashes and fluids in a solid, purpose-built copper still. A smooth internal surface is realised by means of a welded construction without appendages. The characteristic of a Kothe still is the combination of efficiency, stability and shape.
The still has a mash volume of 1200 litres and allows the distiller several thousand settings, making the production a piece of artisan art.
Believe it or not, but the Arctic climate has its clear advantages. The temperature variations between summer and winter, and between day and night, is dramatic. In the winter we can experience temperatures below -20 C, and in the summer temperatures above +20 C – that’s a 40 degree variation!
These constant changes in the seasons affect development of our cask spirits. During hot days the pressure increases in the cask, the spirits expand and penetrate deeper into the oak. When the temperature drops, the spirits has soaked in flavours from the oak. This interaction between spirits and oak is essential for cask maturation.
As we are a small artisan production facility, we mature whisky in smaller casks. By using a smaller cask, more wood per litre will be in contact with the whisky and thus it will develop character more rapidly. We are using a range of different casks for storage, including Sherry, Bourbon, Sauterne, Madeira, etc.
We store our casks in old and very secret NATO tunnels. This will reduce evaporation and lower the “angels’ share” (Or “Odins share – as we like to call it!).