Finlandia Classic vodka
|Country of origin||Finland|
|Alcohol by volume||40.0%|
|Related products||List of vodkas|
Finlandia is a vodka produced in Finland from Finnish-grown six-row barley and glacial spring water. The barley is distilled into a neutral spirit using a continuous multi-pressure distillation system at a distillery in the village of Koskenkorva operated by Finland’s Altia Corporation. The distilled alcohol is then transported to a production facility in the village of Rajamäki, about 45 kilometers (28 miles) north of Helsinki. In Rajamäki, the spirit is blended with glacial water, flavored (except for the classic non-flavored edition, 101 and Platinum), and bottled.
The Finlandia brand was established in 1970 by Alko, Finland’s state-owned alcoholic beverage company. A year later, the brand became the first Scandinavian vodka to be sold in the United States. Finlandia is now owned by the Brown-Forman Corporation. Finlandia vodka is distributed in 135 countries and is widely associated with Finland on the international market. Flavors include cranberry (since 1994), lime (1999), mango (2004), red berry (2004), wild berries (2005), grapefruit (2006), tangerine (2009) and blackcurrant (2009).
The distillery that produces Finlandia vodka was founded in 1888 by Dr. Wilhelm Juslin next to the glacial spring in the small Finnish village of Rajamaki. Today, a facility at that same historic location still manufactures and packages Finlandia.
In 1920, after the passage of the alcohol Prohibition Act in Finland, the Rajamäki distillery was bought by the Finnish state to secure an alcohol supply for pharmacies and for other non-beverage purposes. When the Prohibition Act was lifted in 1932, the state took over exclusive control of vodka production.
In 1970, Alko, the state-owned alcoholic beverage company, established the Finlandia vodka brand name. A year later the Finlandia brand became the first Scandinavian vodka sold in the United States, as well as the first imported vodka brand there classified in a premium category.
In 1975, a new alcoholic beverage plant was constructed at the Rajamaki location in Finland, and the distilling operation was centralized at the Koskenkorva facility in 1987.
In 2000, the private U.S.-based Brown-Forman Corporation acquired 45% of Finlandia Vodka Worldwide, with the state-owned Altia Group, a successor of Alko, retaining 55% ownership. Two years later Brown-Forman acquired an additional 35% stake in Finlandia Vodka. In 2004, Brown-Forman acquired the remaining 20% of Finlandia Vodka and assumed 100% ownership in the brand.
As of 2016 Brown-Foreman is considering a sale of Finlandia Vodka in an effort to focus on its whiskey business.
At the Koskenkorva facility in western Finland, initial distillation of the fermented six-row barley takes place in seven columns with an average height of 25 meters using Altia’s multi-pressure distilling system. Any remaining impurities, including lethal methanol as well as fusel alcohols and oils, are removed as the grain spirit is moved in a continuous process through more than 200 distillation steps. The entire production process, from grain mashing until the final neutral spirit flows out of the column, takes approximately 50 hours.
The final product, a grain spirit 96.5% by volume, is then transported about 315 kilometers (196 miles) south to the historic alcoholic beverage plant in the village of Rajamaki near Helsinki. The barley distillate is diluted with glacial water from the Rajamaki spring. Because the water is naturally filtered through sand and moraine formed by retreating glaciers during the Ice Age, no deionization, osmosis treatment or other artificial purification is used — unlike with some other vodkas
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Finlandia is available in pure form (distilled alcohol + water) and in several flavored versions.
|Finlandia Classic||1970||Pure vodka 40%, 80 proof alcohol|
|Finlandia Cranberry||1994||Cranberry flavored vodka|
|Finlandia Lime||1999||Lime flavored vodka|
|Finlandia Mango||2004||Mango flavored vodka|
|Finlandia Redberry||2004||Cranberry flavored vodka|
|Finlandia Grapefruit||2006||Grapefruit flavored vodka|
|Finlandia Blackcurrant||2009||Blackcurrant flavored vodka|
|Finlandia Tangerine||2009||Tangerine flavored vodka|
|Finlandia Raspberry||2011||Raspberry flavored vodka|
|Finlandia 101||2011||Pure vodka 50,5%, 101 proof alcohol|
|Finlandia Platinum||2011||Pure vodka 40%, 80 proof alcohol in a limited edition.|
|Finlandia Coconut||2014||Coconut flavored vodka|
|Finlandia Nordic Berries||2015||Lingonberries, cloudberries, and bilberries flavored vodka|
During the past several decades, the marketing of Finlandia vodka has involved a number of global promotional campaigns.
- 1976-1985 Several advertising campaigns in which taste is the primary focus: “There are vodkas for orange juice lovers and tomato juice lovers. Now a vodka for vodka lovers” (1976). “The vodka for vodka purists” (1977). “Vodka for vodka drinkers” (1982). “Finlandia Vodka for vodka lovers” (1983). “The world’s finest vodka. Over ice” (1984–85).
- 1990 The campaign “Finlandia. Vodka From the Top of the World” stresses the properties appreciated by vodka drinkers: coldness, clarity and purity. The campaign was reintroduced in 2006.
- 1998 The campaign “In a past life I was pure, glacial spring water” is launched under the umbrella theme “Past Lives” in which Finlandia vodka recalls its glacial origins. The ad series evokes a sense of the past through grainy photos and personalities speaking about their past lives.
- 1999 The campaign “Refresh” captures Finlandia vodka as "purely refreshing".
- 2002 Finlandia appears as “The Official Vodka of James Bond” for “007 Die Another Day”, the James Bond film series.
- 2005 The campaign “Vodka from a Purer Place” declares Finlandia to be "naked vodka" by playing up its Finnish heritage and the "pure glacial spring water" from which it is made. Transparent bottles are posed against snowy landscapes under headlines like "Here you see exactly what you're made of" and "When you have nothing to hide behind, you tend not to hide anything”.
- 2013 The campaign “To the life less ordinary” is designed to illustrate that, due to its blend of 6-row barley, glacial water and the midnight sun process, Finlandia is a “less ordinary vodka” produced in a less ordinary fashion. The campaign is meant to inspire viewers to never settle for the routine but instead always embrace a less ordinary life.
Frozen Ice (1970) Tapio Wirkkala designed the original “Frozen Ice” bottle, which conveyed the impression of an ice-cold drink from Lapland in the Arctic North. The textured glass glittered like the surface of an icicle. The label featured two white reindeers sparring against the Midnight Sun low on the horizon.
Hammered Ice (1998) Hansen Design of Design Philadelphia introduced “Hammered Ice” bottle design. The paper label was dropped and replaced with lacquered text.
Glacial Ice (2003) Harri Koskinen, Finnish tabletop glass and industrial designer, along with New York’s Wallace Church & Co. graphic designers and the Finlandia Global package design team, designed and launched the “Glacial Ice” bottle. The texture mimicked the sensation of melting ice, capturing the origins of the brand’s glacial spring water.
Melting Ice (2011) Finlandia introduced a new bottle called “Melting Ice”. The bottle was developed through the collective effort of designers including Harri Koskinen, the Finnish designer who was instrumental in the development of the prior Finlandia bottle, and Kenneth Hirst, an industrial designer based in New York, who sculpted the new form.
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