Vana Tallinn is a legendary Estonian spice/herbal liqueur. It has been manufactured by the former state-owned, but now privatized company Liviko since 1960. By 2011, it had already produced 100 million bottles, many of which have also ended up abroad. Vana Tallinn is the most famous Estonian alcoholic beverage in the world. It is on sale in more than 30 different countries.
Vana Tallinn is based on rum made in Jamaica. Various spice extracts and sugar are added to the rum. There are over ten herbs and spices in total and these are all natural ingredients, no essences have been used. Vanilla, cinnamon and citrus fruits are the main spices. The mainly handcrafted manufacturing process takes more than a month. The traditional strength of Vana Tallinn is 45% and it was the only product for sale until 1999. 40% and 50% versions are also available today. In addition to the traditional liqueur, there are also several other liqueurs flavored slightly differently, as well as a large number of different cream liqueurs. A 50cl bottle of traditional Vana Tallinn in Estonia costs about 8.50 €.
The aroma is sweet and spicy. The aroma of the rum comes strongly, in addition to cinnamon, vanilla and orange oils. The mouthfeel is very thick. The taste is rich and full-bodied, just suitably sweet. The cinnamon tastes strong, with vanilla, anise and something ginger-like, a little warming spice in the background. The aftertaste is spicy and sweet, but surprisingly short. Although the liqueur is quite sugary, there is also enough kick in it, the alcohol burns surprisingly sharply. However, the slightly burning taste fits well into the palette and it cuts down the sweetness very well.
Vana Tallinn is a very well balanced and pleasant herbal liqueur. It is very easy to sip neat and a glass or a couple is a good ending for a dinner. Liviko’s website also has plenty of cocktails for Vana Tallinn, the company itself recommends to enjoy it with the ice cubes.