Sweden’s Agitator Single Malt 43%

Like other European whisky distilleries, Agitator turns to chestnut wood to augment the standard oak. For their “core” expression simply called “Agitator Single Malt” they have aged their whisky in four casks: ex-bourbon casks, new American oak casks, ex-sherry casks, and chestnut casks. It makes for an interesting combination…

Agitator Single Malt 43%

  • Nose – Quite spirited at 1st, then mellowed to reveal crunchy green apples and pears, joined by tart pomegranate or mosambi (sweet lime), some fresh-cut wood, slight hint of dried fruits, however overall it was summery – fruity and sweet. We also caught teasing tastes of tropical fruits every once and a while as a contrast with the orchard fruits.  And all this before the 1st sip! After quaffing, we also found vanilla custard, red apple strudel, a hint of bitter cinnamon
  • Palate – So soft, delicious apple sauce, with some spice burn at the back, that shifts into white peppercorns, silky smooth on the palate, joyfully fruity, some salt water taffy
  • Finish – A bit bitter, and resinous, yet also soft and creamy, closing quite sweetly

We could describe this as a Swedish summer – frolicking in the sunshine-kissed fields. When we returned to revisit after an hour – it was like sipping sweet honey water!

We tasted this after the complex small cask/batch Småfat so obviously found their Single Malt less complex. That didn’t stop us from enjoying its sweet, easy-drinking, uncomplicated happy character. We thought this would be the perfect whisky to ease into an evening.

For my part, I couldn’t help but wonder what if it was bottled at 46%? I suspect it would be even more interesting. However, given Agitator cask at a much lower ABV – only 55% instead of the more common approach in Scotland of casking at 63.5% – it must be more challenging to reliably produce higher ABV expressions. Additionally, playing around with four casks, yet still quite young (above three years but likely not too much above that!), means that some of the casks could still be quite “active”, hence achieving the smooth amiable character at a higher strength could also be tricky.

Here is what the folks at Agitator have to say (with the help of google translate from Swedish!):

The aroma has a lovely and light note of fruitiness which is dominated by citrus, red apple and pineapple together with some dried fruit which primarily comes from the Sherry and Chestnut casks. The taste has some saltiness and a slight smoky undertone, which comes a lot from our choice of smokiness on the grain. This is well accompanied by a fruity element where you can also find some apple and citrus here. The finish has a note of sweet vanilla toffee, mostly from Bourbon casks and American oak, and it lingers pleasantly for a long time.

Pairing suggestion: Why not try it with an apple cake?

Our introduction to Agitator also included two other expressions. Now… if you were to also explore this trio together, there is no doubt you should start with this expression first! Then explore the smoky Rök before settling into Argument: Småfat. At least that would be our humble recommendation!

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