Iskild, a Danish Delight
We opened our first physical water shop in 2006, At the time New Zealand had few imported mineral waters, other than the ubiquitous Italian San Pellegrino, and French brands Perrier and Evian. However, the market did have one emerging contemporary brand called Antipodes, as a nod to the British reference to countries down under. Much like New Zealand, other countries had their own emerging contemporary local brands that were gaining traction.
Canada had BERG from Newfoundland, Scotland Speyside Glenlivet, and Wales Ty Nant, to name a few. Scandinavian waters were also gaining recognition on the world stage, spearheaded by VEEN of Finland and VOSS of Norway. In Denmark the contemporary local brand was ISKILDE, meaning cold spring (since rebranded ISKILD). ISKILD had the class of VEEN and VOSS, but at a more affordable price point, so became our Scandinavian water of choice.
ISKLD is tapped from an artesian aquifer in a pristine area south of Åbenrå Fjord, and emerges at a temperature around 8C. The brand has an interesting pedigree. As the story goes, it has been known for its taste and drinkability since 1561 when Duke Hans the Elder of Schleswig-Holstein appropriated it after sampling the water at a local inn. Perhaps the fine waters of Denmark are another reason the country has long been associated with its internationally renowned beers Carlsberg and Tuborg.
ISKLD is mildly alkaline, pH 7.6, and with a medium total dissolved solids (TDS) mineral content of 325mg/L, enough to impart its distinctive flavour. Dominant minerals include bicarbonates, calcium and magnesium, making ISKILD by definition a moderately hard water. It is these minerals that also give waters their velvety texture on the tongue, one contributor to “mouth feel”. With natural oxygen from its source, these qualities make ISKILD an ideal food matching water in any epicurean setting.
Lastly, a word of warning for water / wine sommeliers. Because ISKILD is a lightly carbonated water, but naturally infused with oxygen, the sparkling does not appear to have an obvious sparkle until on the palette, while the still develops a fine bead of bubbles when left to sit in the glass. This can create a dilemma for the water / wine sommelier attentively topping up glasses, not knowing if one is still or sparkling, and on occasions potentially mistaking still for sparkling.