Drinking alcohol is a wonderful thing if done in moderation, but drinking in excess would turn anyone into an alcoholic, and would therefore need the help of alcoholism treatment programs eventually.
May 2nd saw a very unique twasting (twitter tasting) take place , this time of a Swedish whisky. Courtesy of Angela D’Orazio (master blender at Mackmyra distillery, and Colin Campbell (better know as the ‘ScotsDreamer’ on twitter) we received four samples of Mackmyra whisky some still unreleased, and some currently available. We eagerly waited for 1900 GMT to pop open our samples and to start nosing, sniffing and putting our taste buds to work, tasting those four drams. Mackmyra whisky was almost “Terra Incognita” to me, having only tasted one expression of Mackmyra until that very day. I was thrilled to be able to taste those four expressions. We started
Mackmyra ‘Brukswhisky’ , 41,4% ABV , 45 EUR (available only in Sweden, and travel retail stores in Scandinavia)
this is the Entry level expression. I took the liberty of asking Angela about the unusual ABV% of 41,4% and she did say that this level was chosen as it’s better than the basic 40%, and since whisky in Sweden is very expensive, they wanted to keep this expression’s price down. It’s natural colour, and Non chill filtered (so are the next ones we’ll review). This whisky was matured in 200 litres Ex-Bourbon Barrels for about 5 to 6 years vatted with some whisky aged in Quarter casks (first fill sherry) and new Swedish oak. In addition one cask of mackmyra Smokey whisky is added to the vatting for flavouring and complexity. Brukswhisky has won a gold medal at the IWSC 2010 and was rewarded the 2011 “European Whisky of the Year” (95,5 points) in the Jim Murray’s Whisky Bible. Pretty impressive, let’s see what we think of it.
nose : Lots of fruit, vanilla and saw dust. some cherry and bubble gum!
Palate: quite fruity, and spicy. very like Kriek beer (cherry) and some spices thrown into it, kind of like a bourbon spiciness, even a rye. quite buttery , a lot of butter, and pepper.
Finish : cherries, sawdust, pears, butter, dying into bitter wood.
Score : 81/100
This is a limited edition which was released on the Twasting day (May 2nd) in Sweden. It is made from 7 year old aged base whisky which rested in Mackmyra’s satellite warehouse on the islands of Fjäderholmarna in
the inner archipelago of Stockholm.Add to it, are Quarter casks and smaller Blood tubs (30 litre) of ex-bourbon, ex-sherry, new American oak and new Swedish oak.Both new, 1st and 2nd fills together with a few re-charred Scottish casks were used in the mix for the vatting.
Nose: more citrusy, acidity on the nose, slight sherry, yes also grassy
Palate: wow. a much stronger impact on the palate. spicy entry, then fruity, marmalade , buttery again, with Apricots & peaches. sherry notes on the background as well, but not very pronounced.
Finish : Fruits continue, with Apricots and Pears going all the way, some wood and vanilla, and spicy artefacts
ABV % is up and so is the quality. this one is much better than the first one.
Mackmyra ‘Moment Jord’ (translated: Earth) , 125 EUR (Available for specialist shops from this summer on request and allocation)
This is again a very limited edition,which will be released in Sweden this August (1st) , only ~1470 were made, and 650 were already bought by Systembolaget (Sweden’s state retail store for alcohol). it contains a vatting of 4 refill hogsheads, distilled in 2003, vatted together with some whisky finished in French Bordeaux wine casks.
Nose: is this a perfume or a whisky? This one has quite a nose ! Some balsamic up front, then off to sweet and perfumed wine & grapes. interesting yet very different then the past two samples. Some damp wood too.
Palate : Sweet, sweet stuff, with a lot of wood, fortified wine (port ) , also chocolaty , with liquor filled pralines.
Finish : chocolate filled bon-bons,some sweet fortified wine as well, fruity. long….
If you like your whiskies “Natural” then this one is not for you. The wine finish is evident, and the finish does mask a lot of the “whisky” flavours. This one was a bit too much for me, although i am quite fond of some wine finishes whiskies. It’s not something you nose every day though and i can understand some of the twasters who liked this one quite a bit.
Mackmyra ‘Moment Drivved’ (translated : Driftwood) ,55,5% , 145 EUR (Available for specialist shops from this summer on request and allocation)
This last whisky is also a very limited edition as #3, to be released in Sweden at the same date (Aug, 1st 2011), with ~1460 bottles available worldwide (650 pre allocated to Swedish Systembolaget). Again the vatting consists of four refill hogsheads which had been matured for 7 years in the Bodås Mine warehouse, vatted together with some smoky whisky from a ex-bourbon cask- plus a touch of on new Swedish oak matured whisky (Swedish oak is suppose to be harder than American oak)
Nose: This is more "naked" whisky style than #3. starts with some citrus, grassy , no doubt. maybe a whiff o’ smoke
Palate: Sweet,Sweet palate: peaches, vanilla, ice-cream , nice feel to it, ABV is great. 55% FTW. chocolate also,drenched in liquor.again some peppery and salty edges, interesting play with sweet, sour and spicy, Good work.
Finish : Sweet fruits, coated with chocolate fudge and liquor. pepper.
Last but not least, this whisky was my favourite among all four tasted. It did display a lovely palate of rich chocolate, with the right ABV% and spicy/salty additions that add to complexity. The interplay between those is very nice. A very enjoyable dram. Very good work by master blender Angela D’Orazio.
Score : 87/100
Many thanks to Angela and Colin for allowing us to taste four new and unique expressions of a Swedish whisky we do not get to try every day. It has been a real delightful and enriching experience. Many thanks also to my fellow whisky bloggers/ twitter users for a lovely time sharing their thoughts, and notes while sniffing, tasting and admiring whisky.