After a fascinating tour of Mackmyra distillery we stepped into a ‘social distancing’ tasting room with separate tables for each set of companions.
Six carefully selected expressions were poured, ready and waiting for us… with no details beyond the golden liquid in our glasses.
As we gradually made our way through the progression it was clear they were split between:
- A trio from their “Elegant” style aka without peat
- Then a “Smoky” trio with peat aka Rök
So I’ve decided to split sharing our experience into two parts starting with:
- Mackmyra Reserve Bourbon Förlagrad (Pre-stored) Cask 41155 (2018-10-29 to 2019-05-14) 55%
- Mackmyra Moments – Brukswhisky DLX Nr 659/1999 46.6%
- Macmyra Reserve Oloroso Elegant Cask 39502 (2016-11-22/ 2020-09-21) 49.6%
Here is what we discovered….
#1 – Elegant Appetizer… foreshadowing the whisky to come!
Unlike Scottish whisky that needs to mature for at least 3 years else it is a “spirit” not “whisky”, American Bourbon can be “ready to serve” after limited time! What about Swedish whisky? Well in the case of Mackmyra’s Reserve Bourbon Förlagrad, just over seven months was sufficient to produce something really quite interesting.
Mackmyra Reserve Bourbon Forlagrad (Pre-stored) Fatnr 41155 (2018-10-29 to 2019-05-14) 55%
- Colour – Bright straw
- Aroma – Quite organic, farm-like and fresh, cinnamon, light honey, vanilla, fresh juniper, caramel… as it settled down, it revealed apricots and apples
- Palate – Syropy, Christmas spices, malty, dates, wood, chased by honey
- Finish – Not so long – oak and spice
Not such a bad beginning… until it was later revealed, we had no clue that we were sampling a “spirit” rather than matured whisky. Even only a ‘light’ time in American Oak nicely influenced the character of the spirit.
#2 – Elegant Moments… Brukswhisky DLX
Next in the Elegant style was a single cask from their “Moments” series… which provide a limited opportunity to the public to purchase unlike the “Reserve” series which is limited to buying a cask!
We learned this happened to be one of their most recently released expressions. Here is what they have to say:
LIMITED EDITION OF 1999.
Moment Brukswhisky DLX is the deluxe version of our classic Brukswhisky; a nod to the original distillery at Mackmyra Bruk but also a stepping stone towards the future. The recipe has remained the same, but the whisky has aged for a longer period in casks. The whisky has gone through an intriguing development, which has resulted in a richer and more complex palate, with buttery notes of caramel and vanilla. In the background echoes light and spicy notes of toasted oak, juniper and peat. Brukswhisky DLX is between 9-14 years old and was aged in the Bodås Mine warehouse. The colour is natural and light golden yellow.
And what did we think?
Mackmyra Moments – Brukswhisky DLX Nr 659/1999 46.6%
- Colour – Golden sunshine
- Aroma – Citrus, light friendly and floral, lots of vanilla, summery pear, slightly herbal, leafy? Soft raisins, fruits (pear?), touch of pepper
- Palate – Bitter yet interesting, initially a bit woody, warming, a bit of fruits, again slightly herbal with some sweetness too… as it opened up, silky smooth, more of that light herbal element contrasting with juniper and oak
- Finish – A nice spicy tail
When I looked back at my scrawled notes, I realized it simply didn’t do justice – particularly as what I recorded BIG AND BOLD was – “We really liked it!!”
I then went on to read Mackmyra’s official tasting notes…
- Nose: Soft vanilla with caramel, honey and chocolate. Finely roasted, bready notes of oak and spicy herbs with light tobacco leaves, leather, white pepper and eucalyptus. Soft, fruity notes of pears, citrus and a hint of raisins.
- Taste: Buttery vanilla caramel, ripe pears and citrus. Soft, herbal spices with anise and pepper, light notes of roasted oak, peat and juniper.
- Summary: Soft citrus and pear fruit that ends with slightly spicy notes of roasted oak and vanilla.
Would we agree? Overall yes!
#3 – Elegant Reserve Sherry…
Last in the Elegant style showed off the influence of an Oloroso cask. At just over four years, the colour was striking!
Mackmyra Reserve Oloroso Elegant Fatnr 39502 (2016-11-22 / 2020-09-21) 49.6%
- Colour – Dark gold almost copper
- Aroma – Fudge, fruit and dates, raisins, vanilla, very sweet, full of all the lovely Oloroso aromas
- Palate – Initially a bit harsh, different, herbal, honey…. like a herbal liquor
- Finish – Quite spicy in a most enjoyable way
- Water – Even with water, it was strong and even more distinctive in character… after some time it came into its own – rounder, fuller, heavier with caramel and cream
What was so interesting is even with all the Oloroso, it still had that nice clean “Scandi” style we have come to appreciate from Mackmyra. In this case, it reminded us of birch wood rather than pine or cedar!
There was something quite unusual about this one. It wasn’t easy but it was unique and that alone made it worth including in our line-up. We thoroughly appreciated this one – after tasting all six, this was one we came back to!
An interesting way to transition from “Elegant” to “Smokey”…
Coming up… Mackmyra Smokey Style:
- Mackmyra Reserve Bourbon Rok 3.5 year Fatnr 7765 (2018-11-13) 50.3%
- Mackmyra Reserve New Oloroso Rok Fatrn 38740 (2014-1010/2018-10-10) 57.3%
- Mackmyra Svensk Rok 46.1% WL (2021 distillery visit)
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