Spirit of Hven – MerCurious Corn Whisky 45.6%

It is a curious thing at Swedish distilleries… you can pay to taste whisky however if you actually want to BUY a bottle, you need to go to a state-owned “off-license” Systembolaget or order online from an authorised distributor.

Additionally, this small island distillery Spirit of Hven specialises in mostly small batch experiments, so aside from their “regular” expressions like Tycho’s Star, what you try today will not be available tomorrow, let alone via the liquor store.

With Master Distiller Henric Molin’s foray into Corn whisky, there are indications this will  remain a regular expression – simply with different batches where subtle differences may be found. Named after the planet Mercury, known in Greek and Norse mythology as Hermes and Oden respectively. According to the folks at Spirit of Hven, this god “ruled over wealth, fortune and commerce. His favorite activity was to rule the corn trade.” 

After enjoying a relaxing lunch post distillery tour, we settled down with a rather large book of whisky options… and thought why not start by trying this before getting into the “real” aka barley whiskies!

MerCurious Corn Whisky 45.6%

  • Colour – Bright orange
  • Aroma – Sugary sweet, vanilla, bright fruits, buttery, sweet corn starchy sweet
  • Palate – Young, raw but not harsh, more of that buttery quality, sweet and almost a bit grassy
  • Finish – Limited

We didn’t really know what to expect however it was… curious? What struck is was the smoothness and the extremely orange colour!

We set it aside and on the revisit it was pure candy floss!

And what did the folks at Spirit of Hven have to say? Quite a bit!

Every batch comprises of 14 casks, all playing an important tune in this masterpiece; all casks are made of American air-dried virgin oak. MerCurious is velvet smooth and enticing while still challenging with rich character. The recipe is 88% corn, 5% wheat, 3,5% barley, 3,5% rye. Maturation is between 3 and 8 years depending on cask recipe.

Scent and Taste

  • Undiluted: the first notes attracting the nose are light, sweet candy aromas surrounded by scents of fresh fruits; apples and cloudberries. MerCurious has a distinct character of mature whisky combined with vanilla and cocoa balanced with a delicate spirituality. The corn is evident and if you close your eyes you feel yourself teleported to the kitchen with the nose over a casserole with new boiled sweet corn. A fine note of menthol contributes with a nice freshness, a clear provenance from Hven.
  • The taste is exiting and unique. First it is almost sparkling, fresh and vibrant then it transforms into a full bodied sweet and sour pie. It lands mid-back tonngue. Via the mouth it reaches the nose with a sweet corn aroma. The small addition of barley to the recipe gives a lively and fresh taste with light menthol and green notes.
  • Diluted: With water 1:7 (≈40%) the scent changes; the distinct spirituality fades a bit and promotes the light candy notes. It scents of jellybeans, wine gums and chocolate cake, mature blackberries and sweet pie dough. Vanilla and fudge in the background.
  • With water the taste becomes velvet smooth, green notes of sweet corn, asparagus and pear. Sweetness balanced with delicate acidity and light bitterness from American oak. This is happiness in a bottle, soft and smooth mixed with integrity and personality.

What else did we try from Spirit of Hven?

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