Archive for the ‘Norway’ Category

News from Norwegian Duty Free

March 24, 2009

For some reason or another the main Norwegian Duty Free stores have chosen April as the month for “change”. So in the weeks leading up to the magical date shelves will begin to empty and brands will disappear from one day to the next – all to make room for the new additions.

This is also the date when prices change, even thought there was a bit of a price jump just before Christmas (explained with the strong Euro), but no decrease for Scottish whiskies – despite the weak Pound. According to my information a couple of whiskies will increase a couple of NOK’s, a couple will decrease a bit while most stay the same as they are today.

On to the disappearing and new malts:

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Getting there…

February 15, 2009

…but dragging their feet. After the infamous, for us here in the far north, Rosengren-case, Sweden was forced to accept private import of alcoholic beverages for personal use. A short time thereafter the ESA (no, not the space agency – the EFTA/EEA Surveilance Agency) said that Norwegian rules also had to comply with this.

After dragging their feet for a while and trying their best to postpone the inevitable Norway finally said thei would “look into” changing the rules. They then spent almost a year looking into what needed to be done and just before Christmas they sent out the new rules for comments.

In short they will:

  1. make it legal to receive alcohol from abroad without applying for permission first
  2. make it legal to purchase alcohol from abroad and have it shipped to Norway
  3. allow travellers to bring as much alcohol as they want into Norway

as long as

  1. proper taxes are paid (as of 2009 it’s 6,07 NOK per percent and litre, plus VAT of course (25%))
  2. see point 1
  3. you pay if you have more than 1 litre with you. This litre is the duty free allowance, the next 4 litres can be declared and paid for with the simplified rate (260 NOK/litre) while anything above has to be paid for using the normal taxes (point 1)

Some regulations are proposed:

  1. Times for delivering the beverages are, usually, to follow the times set for the state run Vinmonopolet
  2. Delivery companies must register themselves as a “alcohol approved delivery company”, and employees must go through training for this.
  3. Delivery employees must be above 18 (for delivering beer or wine) or 20 (spirits) years of age
  4. Delivery employees must make sure the receiving party is above the apporved age (18/20) and not drunk at time of delivery

That’s the short version of what the government has used 46 pages to say. All comments must be received by the proper authorioties by March 5th, and after the proposal with be refined a bit and go before Parliament – hopefully before the summer break. Most likely the new rules will be in effect from January 1st 2010 – after that: On-line whisky retailers, here I come!

Whisky sales in Norway, 2008

January 29, 2009

Whisky has never really been “in” in Norway, that honour has been reserved for the French brandy, Cognac. But slowly it’s been building a following that drinks no matter what. This has been proven the last year, and specially after the infamous “Credit Crunch” started. According to the 2008-figures, sales of whisky increased by 1.5% while Cognac was down 5.5%. The sales of malts are up 2.8% to 91,722 liters in total, giving a malt share of 6.7% (up from 6.6% in 2007).

Of the top 250-brands of spirits sold in Norway in 2008, whereof 28 are whiskies and a mere 7 are malts. These 7 malts account for 47.5% of the total sales of malts in Norway. Not surprisingly the winner is Glenfiddich 12yo, with Glen Moray 8yo and The Glenlivet 12yo trailing.

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Norwegian News: January

January 3, 2009

A new year has dawned and the state run monopoly gives everybody a week’s respite before releasing the new products for sale. The official start date is Saturday 10th January. Not much to brag about in whisky terms this time, but then again January tends to be quiet time as everybody has spent all their money shopping for the Christmas hollidays. A total of seven items are marked as NEW, but one is an upgrade and one is a “down-grade”. I’ve used £1=10,4NOK as a rate of exchange for the price conversions.

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Purchasing whisky in Norway, Part 4: From abroad

September 16, 2008

Getting whisky sent to Norway from abroad is a perilous matter. Shourtly put it’s illegal, except when sent as a gift. Although this is about to change, as long as the ESA (EFTA Surveillance Authority – the body set to see to it that the EFTA countries (Norway, Iceland and Lichtenstein) follow the rule of the EEA (European Economic Area) treaty – i.e. do what the EU says).

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Price gouging extraordinaire

September 2, 2008

Diageo Norway sent a bombshell into whisky circles when the newest price list for Vinmonopolet was released. Two malts in particular stood out like a sore thumb: Talisker 18 Years Old and Caol Ila 18 Years Old.

Previousy they had a price tag of just under 500 NOK (T18=499,99 NOK/£50.62 and CI18=484 NOK/£49), both quite reasonably priced, even when comparing to other markets. But when September came a shock was to come…

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Norwegian News: September

August 28, 2008

The Norwegian state monopoly, Vinmonopolet, releases new items every second month. The month of September brings with it a total 16 different whiskies, 15 single malts and one bourbon. All items are released in the Order-assortment (can be ordered in any store or on the web). Prices of the news range from 399 NOK (£40.37) to 10.000 NOK (£1011.74). Start of sale is on Saturday 6th. September, consumers can not order any of the following items before this date. Note that prices given in Pound Sterling (£) are calculated using the today’s (28th Aug) rates of exchange (£1=9,84 NOK). (more…)

Bruichladdich 2001 Vintage for Jon Bertelsen

August 20, 2008

Jon Bertelsen is the name of the importer of Bruichladdich whiskies in Norway, and due to some rigid use of rules (and no brains) Norway ended up with a very speical bottling of Bruichladdich that nobody else is getting. (more…)

Ardbeg Blasda and even Mór, part II

August 19, 2008

Just an update mainly for my Norwegian readers.

Ardbeg Blasda will be lauched in Norway on Saturday 6th September. The price will be 599,90 NOK (£59). The Norwegian importer (Moet Hennessy Norge) is very excited about this bottling, and says it’s absolutely fab.

Ardbeg TEN (new) will hit the shelves as soon as the old bottles start running out. With normal sales in the coming weeks this should be towards the end of September.

Ardbeg TEN (4.5l), or the Arbdeg Mór II, is actually just a 4.5 litre bottling of the normal Ardbeg TEN. The number of bottles will at start be limited to each market, bue the bottles will not be numbered. This is will be a part of the Ardbeg line-up, so no need for hoarder to line up for a quick profit. It will be bottled at the normal Ardbeg strength of 46% abv. The release in Norway will again be on Saturday 6th September, and the price will be 3999 NOK (£395 – compared to the 4999 NOK (£494) pricte-tag on the original Ardbeg Mór. This is a 120 NOK (£12) premium on top of the price compared to the normal TEN-bottle.

Ardbeg Renessaince has been available for the on-trade market in Norway for about a month now, but will be released, also, on Saturday 6th September for regular consumers. Approx. 660 NOK (£65) is the price one must be willing to pay to get ones hand on a bottle here in Norway.

A Spanish Grouse

August 15, 2008

The Trust-owned Edrington Group (through Maxxium Global Travel Retail) and the german family-owned Travel Retail-operator Gebr. Heinemann has put out a new exclusive for Airports – The Famous Grouse Spanish Oak.

The whisky starts life as a standard Famous Grouse, but is exposed in a greater degree to fresh ex-sherry casks, giving it a sweeter and richer flavour. It’s bottled in 50cl glass bottles. So if you like the Famous Grouse, this’ll be a nice experience.

It will only be available at airport stores run by Gebr. Heinemann for a RRP of €16 (the price in Norway is 129 NOK). Heinemann have stores at the following airports: Ankara, Antalya, Bergen, Berlin-Tegel, Berlin-Schoenefeld, Bourgas, Bratislava, Bucharest, Budapest, Cape Town, Dalaman, Dortmund, Dresden, Duesseldorf, Durban, Erfurt, Frankfurt, Frankfurt-Hahn, Graz, Hamburg, Hannover, Istanbul, Izmir, Johannesburg, Koeln, Copenhagen, Kristiansand, Leipzig/Halle, Linz, Ljubljana, Maribor, Moscow Domodedovo, Oslo Gardermoen, Podgorica, Portoroz, Saarbruecken, Salzburg, Stavanger, Tallinn, Tirana, Tivat, Tripoli, Trondheim, Varna, Vilnius, Vienna and Warsaw.

Tasting note:

• Appearance: Deep russet, clear and bright
• Aroma: Ripe strawberries, orange peel, prunes and fruit cake
• Palate: Sweet, black cherries, humbugs and dark chocolate
• Aftertaste: Long, rich and sweet


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