Scandi Whiskies – High Coast Älv “Delicate Vanilla” 46%

After the rather delicious Isle of Lime “Sangelstain” whisky, we continued our evening of Scndi whiskies with a duo from High Coast Distillery. It is part of their Origins expressions:

Origins is a series where we celebrate our heritage. We have embraced our location, history and geography and created four whiskies that reflect these aspects.

We started with Älv – the Swedish word for River.

High Coast Älv 46% (Bottles 8257)

  • Nose – Oh yum! Delicious ripe bananas, caramel, lemon poppyseed muffin, banoffee pie – in short, tropical sunshine and dessert! As it evolved, we found fresh wood, honey, even sweet Neem leaf… more of that dessert – sweet cakes
  • Palate – A delightful contrast – mild, subtle, and delicate.. one even thought of chamomile… with the 2nd sip we found some spice, lights cloves, buttery, becoming fruitier and that sweet vanilla too
  • Finish – Initially sweet followed by a bitter almond

The nose was exuberant and effusive, the palate more restrained and yet it had a lovely balance. In short – we were most impressed and really enjoyed trying this whisky!

What do the folks at High Coast have to say?

Outside our front door runs the beautiful river Ångermanälven, the heart of the High Coast region and essential to our distillery. We are able to make such elegant whisky thanks to the naturally cold, crystal clear water sourced from the river.
Älv — a well-balanced soft single malt with vanilla tones. Älv is our most elegant whisky.

The official tasting notes:

  • Aroma – Vanilla, coconut, sponge cake
  • Palate – Sweet vanilla, mature pear, apple
  • Finish – Long sweet vanilla notes

With further details on the recipe and casks used:

Älv consists of 100% unpeated whisky which has matured in first fill Bourbon barrels;

  • 68.51% – 24 barrels of 200 liters Quercus Alba delivered empty direct from Kentucky
  • 31.49% – 11 quarter casks of 130 liters repaired by Speyside Cooperage 

Until October 2014, our casks have matured in a damp warehouse, where they lost slightly more alcohol than expected. Since October 2014 until bottling, the casks have been maturing in a dry environment in warehouse number 3.

12/04/2019 35 Bourbon barrels containing 4670 kilos of whisky, with an average strength of 61,64% abv, were emptied into our blending tank. There we added, 1787 kilos of water to reach the desired strength of 46% abv.

In early 2022 this retailed in Sweden for 500 SEK (Euro 48). We were quite happy with this one and excited to try the sherry “Berg” expression next!

This wasn’t our only High Coast (Box) exploration:

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