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Vana Tallinn, the Estonian liqueur, is the festive liqueur for Finland’s centenary in 2017. The Estonian company Liviko won the competitive bidding against Finnish challengers.
In other words, Liviko made an offer Alko, the state alcohol monopoly, couldn’t refuse. According to law, Alko cannot disfavor foreign companies. Not even when selecting the official liqueur for Finland’s 100th anniversary of independence.
Vana Tallinn is known to many Finns, especially when crossing the gulf to Estonia, or Sweden – the liqueur often finding itself on the shaky cabin table, sipped from the plastic cup. You can often come across the creamy vanilla flavor on discount on the ferry to Sweden. Other flavors include chocolate and coffee, but it’s the 35-proof dark licorice version that is already sold in Alko as the centenary drink.
All in all, in the list of 24 products, Alko was looking for seven spirits for the centenary. Three of the selected ones are foreign, including the French cognac Meukow and the Norwegian counterpart Bache-Gabrielsen. In social media, the news of the centenary liqueur choice was not received lightly. One of the common comments was: “Finland has an excellent selection of berry liqueurs. Why not choose one of those?”
The actions of Alko raised eyebrows in the parliament, too. “Independence is a serious subject to Finns and labels like these influence the decision to buy,” said Mikko Kärnä, an MP from the Centre Party, in a bulletin. “Wouldn’t it be best to direct the consumption to domestic products? The result of the competitive bidding raises also the question, whether all possible was done on the basis of the purchasing law, that a domestic liqueur would have held its own.”
Alko’s selection of products for Finland’s centenary
Teerenpeli Suomi 100 Juhlaolut
Laitilan Agricola Suomi 100 V Juhlaolut
Prykmestar Terva Juhlaolut
Svaneke Säkkijärven Polkka
Punaisen Tuvan Kupliva Suomi 100 Mahlaskumppa
Oodi Vapaudelle Cava Semi Seco
Bernard-Massard Kuulea Suomi 100 Vuotta Extra Dry
Wine Gallery Suomi Finland 100 Champagne Brut
Onnea Suomelle Italiasta Organic Primitivo
Rouge de Carsin Suomi Finland 100
Wine Gallery Suomi Finland 100 Bordeaux Rouge
Oodi Vapaudelle Chenin Blanc
Blanc de Carsin Suomi Finland 100
Wine Gallery Suomi Finland 100 Bordeaux Blanc
Vana Tallinn Tumma Lakritsi Suomi 100 Vuotta
Gustav Tilli Vodka
Meukow Suomi 100 v
Bache-Gabrielsen Suomi 1917-2017
Teerenpeli Suomi 100 Juhlaviski