How was your Monday? I had the privilege of tasting some new world whisky's from Mackmyra Disillery (Sweden), Stauning (Denmark) and Eimverk (Iceland). Hosted by Boilermaker House in the heart of Melbourne, a small group of us were given an in depth education on what Scandinavia's whisky's are all about by Alex Tooms from Sigrún Whisky.
Mackmyra Svense Rök
For generations juniper has played a huge role in tastes in Sweden. This definitely shows in the Svensk Rök which has a very well balanced smoky juniper blends with creamy vanilla and roasted oak undertones.
The bouquet is slightly spiced and smoky with slight notes of peat, vanilla, toffee and of course, juniper.
The palate is appreciably more smoke than the aroma. A calm wave will coat your palate with peat and smoke with hints of juniper. Inklings of tobacco leaves, anise and dried oak will then rise then leaving an aftertaste of slight salted caramel with hints of smoke.
Mackmyra First Edition
Mackmyra's fundamental range began with the First Edition (sound obvious). The distillery uses 100-litre casks to age the majority of the whisky which speeds up the maturation process and gives the First Edition it's profound characteristics. The spiced flavours in the First Edition come from newly fabricated Swedish oak casks. The heart of this exquisite recipe is the maturation period of which is kept 50 feet below ground in Bodås Mine and stored in American bourbon casks.
You will notice that this whisky is quite fruity on the nose with notes of pear, apple and honey. Lighter notes of toasted bread, butter and oak linger as well.
On the palate the First Edition is very smooth with flavours of caramel, honey and citrus that your tastebuds will happily embrace. The whisky will leave you with essences of light oak and dark chocolate.
The Midvinter is part of a standalone seasonal series by Mackmyra. The blatantly obvious flavour focus for this whisky is "winter" and to achieve this profile the distillery has used an impressive array of casks to finish it with. These casks include Bordeaux wine, mulled wine and sherry casks.
Straight away you will notice dried fruits and spices associated with winer such as apricots, dark berries, cinnamon and cloves. After you get over the barrage of Christmas you will notice the subtle aromas of red wine and butterscotch.
Again, the palate profile has those same wintery flavours of dried fruit, vanilla and very slight citrus. The character of the Midvinter will leave your palate coated almost as though it were a fruity, dry, herbal syrup. Perfect for those cold winter nights (not so much for Australian summer).
Stauning Fifth Edition Peated Single Malt
The Fifth Edition by Stauning is made from malted barley and the spirit is distilled twice in a traditional pot still. This produces a complex whisky with an abundance of character. The Fifth Edition was first distilled in 2011 then matured in ex-American bourbon (Makers Mark) barrels and bottled in 2015.
This whisky has got a lot of smoke to it. Stauning created this flavour by drying and smoking the malted barley with peat smoke from peat that was excavated by the Klosterlund Museum.The barley dries in an oven for two days and constantly has a breeze of hot smoky air flowing through it.
Although this whisky has only been aged for 3 years the flavour profile is quite bold and complex. On the nose you will notice smoke, cereal oats and light chocolate.
On the palate you will be greeted with balanced flavours of nougat, molasses and smoked chocolate. This delicious whisky will linger for a long time leaving you with vanilla, butterscotch and even more smoke. This one will definitely appeal to the Islay single malt fans.
Eimverk Flóki Young Malt
This one was my favourite of the group. The Flóki Young Malt is produced from 100% malted Icelandic barley. This was the first bottle from the Eimverk Distillery in Iceland which was only founded in 2009. The Young Malt was aged for only 3 years in young American Oak barrel and is a single barrel release. Only 600 numbered bottles are in circulation.
Dry toasty oak, leather and brown bread maltiness engulfs your senses contrasted by caramel, honey and vanilla will drench your palate. The aftertaste of pleasant buttery oak, black pepper and cinnamon spice will leave you wanting more of this sensory overload.
Flóki covered all the bases for me. Smoke, malt, spice, sweetness and a high ABV to boot! There's a bottle left at Boilermaker House so get in a try it.