Coming of age of Old Tallinn

Here’s a peak into evolution of Vana Tallinn, the mighty Estonian drink, design and package copy.
Visual differences between the old and the new are obvious and need no analysis by a non-design guy. Copy offers more insight into the brains of brand managers. The back label of the old bottle starts off with For over a quarter century Liviko’s Vana Tallinn has met with favour not only in Estonia but in Russia and Northern Europe, roughly translating into Hey, we really wouldn’t try to sell you this weird strong liquour if Finns and Russians didn’t buy it for reasons unknown to us. The new version is slightly more confident, implicitly stating: it’s what we in Estonia drink, take it or leave it. The old bottle suggests mixing with cream or sparkling wine (I got a headache just from writing this sentence), new one leaves more room for expirements: excellent ingredient for various cocktails.

Another addition is appreciation of craftsmanship which just jumps out of the newest reincarnation of Vana Tallinn. This genuine liquour has been created by Estonian Craftsmen. Based on one hundred years of experience. Are you picturing oak barrels and red-faced men with aprons mixing secured ingredients yet? The old bottle was much less romantic, just stating the aforementioned “over a quarter century”. However, the Estonian copy on the same label says that Vana Tallinn has been enjoyed from 1960 onwards, leaving me slightly confused. It’s either that the English copy was translated in 1985 and was never touched since or that the translator sought too much inspiration from the product at hand.

Many thanks to Alex and Kaisa for the great dinner on their roof terrace where this piece of history unfolded. Here’s to ice-cream with Vana Tallinn for desert!


  1. Ave

    Kui keegi ütleb Vana Tallinn ja mõtleb sellega alkoholi, mitte kena kivilinnakest, siis tuleb mul pea always järgmine jutt ja sry kui ennast kordan.. can´t help myself :)
    Ma pole kunagi seda eestlaste esindusnapsu proovinud. Teismelisena, kui mõnel peol seda pakutigi, olid mul veel liiga värskelt meeles isa korduvad hoiatused, selle joogi mürgisuse kohta :) ja siis tulid juba igasugu muud peened ja veidi vähem peened napsud meie poelettidele ning kesse siis ikka kogu selles assortimendis mingit kodumaist suveniirlikööri maitsma hakkab..
    Niiet, pole proovinud aga samas võiks.
    Seda enam, et üks retsepti autoreist on ikkagi sugulane :) Kasvõi vanavanaonu Beni mälestuseks.
    See jutt lõppes nüüd ja kui meeles on siis võtan ikkagi selle pitsi nüüd millalgi ära, siis saab uusi jutte rääkida :)
    Long Live Vana Tallinn! :)

  2. Marko

    Old – new kusimuse tostatamine aastal 2010, mil new look on olnud ‘valjas’ aastaid, tundub kergelt kummaline:)

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