The merchant ship Throndhiems Prøve first crossed the equator on 24th October 1805, on a long and hazardous journey to Indonesia, where the Dutch were colonial rulers. Among the assorted cargo of salted herring and dried and split cod were seven barrels of spirits.
Upon arrival the Norwegian vessel quickly sold its fish products; however the Dutch were themselves skilled producers of arrack and genever, and consequently the ship returned in 1807 with several unsold oak barrels of potato spirit that had been exposed to both the rolling motion of the sea and tropical temperatures for eighteen months. This return trip resulted in a marked improvement in the quality of the spirits.
Thus Linie Aquavit was born – a schnapps that had twice “crossed the line” at the equator. Today, Lysholm Linie is shipped on its return journey by the shipping firm Wilhelm Wilhelmsen, and each bottle carries the name of the ship and the dates it crossed the equator.
The maturing process for Linie is vital and starts with the import of 500-litre oak sherry barrels from Jerez. The barrels give the aquavit its golden colour; the residual matter from sherry provides a pleasant sweetness, and the white American or Spanish oak adds tones of wood and vanilla.
The combination of caraway/aniseed is prominent in the aroma of Lysholm Linie. Old sherry notes give a rich, rounded flavour, with aniseed, caraway and oak giving complexity.
With its dry style and subdued, neutral taste, Lysholm Linie is ideal for accompanying smoked salmon, marinated fish and other dishes having a mild flavour. Lysholm Linie should be served at room temperature.