Arsenitch Sandthorn (40%)

Arsenitch is a vodka originally made by Latvian Jaunalko. The brand was acquired by Altia Finland in 2012. Altia shut down the production in Latvia and moved it to Altia Eesti premises Estonia. At the same time they started to use the rectified spirit produced in Koskenkorva, Finland. Arsenitch Sandthorn is mixed with sea-buckthorn juice, sugar and neutral spirit. It is widely available in Estonian and Latvian food stores. The price in Estonia is about 7.50 € for a half-liter bottle.

The nose has a bit of a sweet and berry or fruity aroma. However, I´m not sure whether it comes from cloudberry, orange or something else. There is also some berry aroma in the taste. The taste is rather sweet, but also slightly sour. The taste of sea- buckthorn is not easily recognizable and could not be guessed without seeing the bottle. Arsenitch Sandthorn is a typical large producer’s creation. It is made from juice or flavorings, effectively filtered and possibly dyed with food coloring. The aroma of the promised sea-buckthorn can then only be found with a good imagination. The product is far from the high-quality sea-buckthorn spirit of the Latvian handicraft distillery Akmenlauzen, which is made by soaking whole sea- buckthorn berries in strong alcohol. Their product has an intense sea-buckthorn taste, while Arsenitch has only a hint of it. 

Leaving aside the sea-buckthorn aspect, Arsenitch Sandthorn is quite a tolerable product; easy to drink, suitably sweet and smooth. However, instead of sipping it neat, it is better for different drinks. The manufacturer recommends mixing it with orange juice and ginger slices.


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