Swedish Whisky Tasting with Mackmyra Whisky
Wednesday 1st November 2017, 7.30pm prompt start
@ Lysses House Hotel, 51High Street, Fareham
Presented by Alex Johnson, Mackmyra’s Representative in the UK
Sweden is not always the first country that springs to mind when one thinks about whisky, but there is a nascent Swedish Whisky industry and Mackmyra are, not only the largest, but also arguably, the best Swedish Whisky producer.
The company was started by a group of university friends a little over 10 years ago (they have just released the first Mackmyra 10 Year Old Whisky) and have rapidly grown into internationally highly regarded distillers. Along the way they have outgrown their original distillery, built a new state of the art distillery and have very talented master blender in Angela D’Orazio. Mackmyra have been at the forefront of innovation and experimentation with Swedish oak and different oak cask finishes not only using whisky favourites, such as Sauternes, but also oak casks that have held cherry wine, Masi Costasera Amarone, Scotch Strong Ale and Rum amongst others.
Alex will be telling us all about the Mackmyra whisky story and presenting some of their fantastic whiskies and their honey liqueur.
Bee – Superb Honey Whisky Liqueur
Brukswhisky – Fresh and fruity single malt with hint of smoke
Svensk Ek – Spicy character from use of Swedish oak barrels
Svensk Rök – Smoky with peat and juniper character
Moment Malstrom – Limited Edition release, a blend of different single malt whiskies aged in small 30 litres casks
Moment Korsbar – Limited Edition releases finished casks that held sweet cherry wine
If you have any questions about the Mackmyra Whisky Tasting do not hesitate to email [email protected] or telephone 01329 822733.
A Little Review and some Photographs
A big thank you to Alex Johnson for coming to show a fantastic range of Swedish Whiskies. It was good to try the whole core range again including the Bee Liqueur that I hadn’t tried before (which was very moreish) and and some of the limited edition whiskies from the Moments range (the Malstrom was stunning).
Mackmyra have come a long way in short time (they are 18 years old in 2017) and doing some really great things with different cask finishes (the Skordetid in finished in ex Masi Amarone casks, the Korsbar in casks seasoned with cherry wine) and Swedish oak barrels. All of this experimentation and is done under the watchful eye of master blender Angela D’Orazio who joined the company in 2004.
Here are a couple of points I noted down.
- All of Mackmyra’s whiskies are made from Swedish barley sourced from within a 50 mile radius of the distillery in an effort to keep food miles low and be as eco-friendly as possible.
- The yeast that Mackmyra use is a Swedish baker’s yeast (called Kronjast) which helps to give Mackmyra is own distinctive character.
- Fermentation time is around 50% longer than any other distillery.
- Mackmyra season their own barrels and Sherry casks are seasoned to their specification in Jerez.
- The bulk of their barrels are aged in the Bodas mine at a depth of 50 metres which offers constant temperature (7c) and humidity – this leads to a very steady and “soft” maturing process.
- They are also ageing some whisky inside the Arctic Circle (temperature controlled, of course!)
Bee – This is a fantastic honey liqueur. It is simply a very natural and pure blend of honey, spirit and water bottled at 22% abv. The honey comes from raspberry, linden, elderflower and dandelion flowers. Good, clear dark golden colour. This has fantastic aromas of honey, naturally, hints of pot pourri, ginger, cinnamon, floral notes and spicy character. There is also a hint of mocha, vanilla and tea. Not overly sweet with a good fresh finish. Too easy to drink!
Brukswhisky – Elegant pale golden colour. The nose has real tropical character with aromas of banana, pineapple and pear drops. The palate is fresh with a touch of smoke, it is soft and citrus-y with good acidity. There is also a slight herbaceousness with a bit of creamy oak and vanilla. Aged mainly in Bourbon casks, bottled at around 6 years old. I can imagine this in a hi-ball with soda and ice in the summer.
Svensk Ek – Bright, golden colour. The nose has aromas of banana, toffee and spices. It is sweet, spicy and rich. The palate features more baking spices, white and black pepper, nuts, hints of marzipan and herbal character. Ginger. Good long finish. Sweet and spicy. Aged mainly in Bourbon cask with 40% in ex Oloroso cask with 10% Swedish oak ( which adds spicy, ginger and sandalwood character). Very good.
Svensk Rok – This is their smoky one. It is made with peated barley which has been infused with smoke from Juniper branches (a common Scandinavian technique for smoking food). The smoke is incredibly pure. It is a crisp, clean sweet bonfire smoke with a good amount of citrus character. The palate is clean and smoky with barbeque character, grilled vegatables, lemons and a hint of coal tar. In comparison to peaty Scotch Whisky this is a lot less oily and purer. Very good. Someone who doesn’t like peaty whisky even bought one!
Seasons Skordetid – Aged on ex Masi Amarone 600 litres barrels (and some oloroso and bourbon). Lovely golden colour with just a faint hint of ruby to it. The nose is sweet and spicy with hints of toffee, caramel, Christmas, mince pies and a touch of red fruit. In the mouth it is quite nutty, with red wine flavours, dried fruits, peanut brittle, milk chocolate and a hint of Port. Good length. Very nice.
Moment Malstrom – Aged in a combination 5 different types of small 30 litre casks (lots of oak interaction) – Bourbon, new US oak, Swedish oak, Oloroso and hybrid casks – which have been aged in different warehouses. Good dark golden colour. Fantastic nose with rich nutty character, peanut brittle, smoly oloroso notes and rancio (almost Armagnac in character). Spicy, vanilla and cloves. The palate is full, rich, spicy and powerful. The finish is quite drying but very long. Shame it was all sold out!
Moment Korsbar – This intriguing whisky is aged in a combination of PX Sherry, Oloroso and Swedish Oak casks along with some casks that had been seasoned with cherry wine. This has a fascinating golden pink colour. The nose has lovely hints of cherry, tobacco, leather, dried fruits (fruit leather), dried red fruit and is very lifted, bright and aromatic. There are more sour cherry aromas, grape-y hints and a touch of vanilla / marzipan. The has more flavours of sweet toffee red berries and cherry jam. It is full and rich but with a dry-ish finish. A little bit bonkers, in a good way!