Norwegian whisky paradise

Norwegian whisky paradise

Joe Bates Gardermoen shops offer taxed locals whisky paradise
Joe Bates

19 January 2007

Publication: Issue 61

Norway suffers from some of the highest alcohol prices in the world so it comes as no surprise to learn the locals have an almost religious devotion to duty-free shopping. They track down bargains whenever they can while travelling and can now take advantage of Oslo Gardermoen’s new duty-free arrivals shops on their return, where prices are nearly three times cheaper than the domestic market.

The whisky offer at the airport’s bright, modern and spacious stores is extremely broad for duty-free, running to almost 100 different varieties. The store’s five best sellers are Chivas Regal, John Jameson, Upper Ten, Famous Grouse and Johnnie Walker Red Label.

The malt enthusiast is particularly well catered for, the range encompassing favourites such as the popular Distillers Edition range and Glenmorangie finishes, as well as a nice selection of Island drams such as Highland Park 18 Years Old (NOK509/£41.95), Talisker 18 Years Old (NOK419/£34.54), and Bowmore Mariner 15 Years Old (NOK375/£30.91).

Speyside devotees won’t be disappointed either as the assortment includes high-end choices such as Glenfiddich Ancient Reserve 18 Years Old (NOK359/£29.60), The Macallan Cask Strength (NOK389/£32.06) and The Glenlivet 15 Years Old (NOK329/£27.12). Super-premium blends include Chivas Regal 18 Years Old (NOK509/£41.95) and Johnnie Walker Blue Label (NOK1100/£90.70).

The airport shops are open 24 hours a day, seven days a week and travellers can check out prices before they leave home at and compare them with state-owned off licence Vinmonopolet at

The inbound duty-free spirits allowance into Norway is just one litre per person.

The Macallan

Fine Oak Whisky Maker’s Selection

In recent years The Macallan has jumped from fourth to second place in the list of best-selling duty-free malts and this latest travel-retail exclusive expression is likely to help maintain the brand’s forward momentum. Purists may complain about the lack of an age statement but the liquid inside the new Whisky Maker’s Selection is very special: a nice balance on the nose and palate between fresh citrus and vanilla, and stronger notes of sweet ginger spice and tropical fruits, which comes from its maturation in both American bourbon and Spanish sherry oak casks.

Priced at about ¤59 (£40), Whisky Maker’s Selection is a welcome addition to the Fine Oak range, plugging a gap in the existing range between the travel-retail exclusive Elegancia and the Fine Oak 18 Years Old.

The Dalmore


Step forward yet another new and rather expensive limited edition dram from The Dalmore, but this time with
an unexpected twist. The Dalmore 1973 has finished its maturation in cabernet sauvignon barrels (Château Haut-Marbuzet no less). The resulting liquid is ruby red in colour with hints of spicy marzipan on the nose, and citrus peel, mangoes and crushed pears on the palate.

Presented in handsome walnut presentation box embossed with the brand’s famous Silver Mackenzie stag, The Dalmore 1973 has a duty-free retail price about £449.

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