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Miller’s new Norwegian distillery launches bitters

Marcin Miller’s new Norwegian distillery, the first in the country since 1927, has launched its inaugural product – a digestive bitter named Marka, made from dandelion, bog myrtle and angelica root.

Marka is is rested in oak barrels for several months before it is bottled

Marka is a combination of 16 botanicals including berries, leaves, flowers, roots and stems, and is rested in oak barrels for several months before it is bottled.

It is named after the Nordmarka forest surrounding Oslo, and the word also doubles as a Nordic term for the ‘outdoors’.

Tasting notes from spirits commentator, Dave Broom, describe the expression as “exotic and spiced” with “touches of laurel oiliness, bog myrtle and a gentle, fleshed out, citric sweetness” on the nose, and on the palate, “a cleansing draft, with the dusty, forest floor flavours of gentian and calamus held in check by subtle sweetness and that citric element”.

Ryan Chetiyawardana, aka Mr Lyan, owner of White Lyan and Dandelyan, said: “I’m very excited to see Marka hit our shores; a potable bitters coming out of Oslo, using a wealth of indigenous, hand-foraged botanicals, including native angelica – Scandinavia’s gift to the botanical brigade. Lovely earthy bitterness with great structure making it ideal neat and for mixing.”

While structural work continues at the Oslo Håndverksdestilleri (OHD) distillery, located in the Bryn area of Oslo, Marka is being produced at nearby Ægir brewery where OHD’s head distiller, Dave Gardonio was formerly head brewer.

With bespoke copper stills due to arrive in a couple of months, the distillery – which is dedicated to Scandinavian customs, foraging and the Nordic way of life – is planned to open in June.

Co-founder and partner in OHD, Marcin Miller said: “Norway inspires with its pioneering spirit and breathtaking scenery. Our new distillery will aim to capture the culture and traditions of this special country in a profound way, initially with Marka, then with a Norwegian gin and an akevitt.”

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