The story of a Finnish Vodka

The Koskenkorva distillery, which is located in the village of Koskenkorva in Southern Ostrobothnia, has a long history dating back to the turn of 1930s and 1940s.

In 1953, Koskenkorva village was thriving. The Finnish economy was recovering from difficult war era. Previous year, Helsinki Olympic Games had lifted up the moods of the whole nation. At Koskenkorva, a brand new distillery had been built and a the first experimental distillation had taken place in the spring of 1941. In 1953 the production of spirits started for good. The vodka was named simply after the village it was produced in: Koskenkorva.

During the period of reconstruction after the war, Southern Ostrobothnia was an area of excess potato production, so it was a natural ingredient for spirit making as well. In the early days, Koskenkorva was distilled from potatoes but soon replaced by barley that grew well in the coastal, fertile fields. During the short summer months, barley was stored in granaries in order for the supply to last during the long and harsh winter.

Barley harvest at Koskenkorva village.

Koskenkorva was first produced only in one format: in a half a litre bottle. The label on the bottle replicated the numerous barns and fields that still today dominate the landscape of Koskenkorva village.

At Koskenkorva, the craft of cultivating barley has been passed on from generation to generation. All of those who nowadays contribute with their harvest to the making of Koskenkorva, proudly carry their special knowledge of the specific barley cultivars - such as Kaarle and Elmeri - that make the best possible vodka, excellent starch and juicy feed for several big cattle farms in the area.

A mix of vodka and salty liquorice was first banned

Soon the Koskenkorva people discovered, that their very own Koskenkorva had not only become a national favourite but that it could be of interest worldwide. More variations in size and taste came along. In the 90's, a new product, Koskenkorva Salmiakki was introduced to the market. It was a combination of Koskenkorva and salty liquorice, a very popular type of candy among the Finns. It didn't take long that the new product had to be banned. The reason: it was selling too well.

The fame of Koskenkorva kept on growing. In Koskenkorva village, life continued as before. Barley grew on the vaste fields, the river floated still by the distillery and the farm houses nearby.

The area of Ostrobotthnia in Finland is known for its culture of no-nonsense. The Koskenkorva village was, and is, full of hardworking, straightforward and honest people. And that nature replicated in their vodka, too.

Today, Koskenkorva vodka is available in multiple countries, and you can even found it in the USA and in the shelves of Marks & Spencer in London. The vodka from a village has come a long journey.

Koskenkorva is distilled from barley local barley at Koskenkorva village.
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Today Koskenkorva has a wide selection of products. Spirits such as the Original Vodka (40% vol.), lemon-lime flavoured vodka as well as blueberry-juniper flavoured vodka. In addition there is the speciality of the Finns, Koskenkorva viina (38% vol.). Viina translates to grain spirit in Finnish. In addition there is a range of popular liqueurs in the Koskenkorva family: The legendary salty liquorice, mint, forest berries and oaky cranberry. Pick your favourite! And don't forget the lower ABV rtds: Koskenkorva Village Tea and Blueberry tonic.

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