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Norway to launch world's first Arctic whisky

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The northern tip of Myken. Photo: Myken.no
14:47 CEST+02:00
A group of enthusiastic amateurs plans to launch the world's first Arctic whiskey distillery on the tiny island of Myken off the coast of far-northern Norway.
Roar Larsen, who in his day job works as the chief scientist at Trondheim's prestigious Sintef institute, has already purchased an old fish factory to house the distillery and applied for a distillation permit.  He aims to produce the first drops of Myken Whiskey later this year. 
 
"We believe we have a unique opportunity to be recognized in the market as the first whisky distillery in the Arctic," he told Norway's NRK news channel.  "We use desalinated sea water straight from the Vestfjorden and our products ripen under the midnight sun and northern lights. That makes our whisky unique."
 
Larsen says that as whisky distillation is done in batches, the five couples behind the scheme hope to only have to take sporadic weeks off work to run the still.  
 
"In the course of a single week, we will be able to run three rounds of mashing, fermentation and distillation," he said. "Then we will have filled a couple of barrels and we can then take a break before we run another week later on. That way we can get started without having to terminate our jobs." 
 
He says the families aim to slowly build up to full production until they generate enough income for the five couples to be able to move to the island full time. 
 
"We have long thought about what we could do to create more jobs so that we ourselves can move here," he said. "A whiskey distillery is the best idea so far." 

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Larsen, his wife and their four children recently spent a year living on Myken, which they discovered while sailing on the Norwegian coast four years ago. 
 
"It was a great year," he said. "None of us wanted to move back when the year was out." 

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