London Whisky Show – Kyrö Malt, Wood Smoke + Monbazallic Rye

It is terrific to discover something new! And that is just what happened at the London Whisky Show with this distillery from Finland – Kyrö.

There is a quirky humourous approach… with the visual of a bunch of men running buck naked (from a sauna) across a field…. as they shared:

It all started with five friends in a sauna, pondering why nobody in Finland was making rye whisky. We had no idea how to make whisky the “right” way, so we did it our way – and Kyrö Malt is where the story of Kyrö Distillery Company began.

Two co-owners were there in London with their enthusiasm infectious! We couldn’t help enjoying both the whiskies and the experience.

Kyrö Malt Rye 47.2% 

  • Nose – Young, fresh, herbal with some menthol
  • Palate – Softly sweet, licorice, rye bread
  • Finish – Clean pine

I really quite liked this Rye… it had a clean fresh style that was quite appealing

What more do they have to say?

Made with 100% malted Finnish rye, Kyrö Malt is a whisky that proudly breaks the mould. It is double pot distilled and aged in a combination of new American oak and ex-bourbon casks, resulting in intense pepperiness, balanced with sweet notes of caramel and vanilla.

It’s perfect sipped as it is, in a whisky sour – or any way you like.

  • Nose: Pepper, Vanilla, Caramel, Dried fruits
  • Palate: Sweet rye bread, Honey, Wild berries, Smooth finish with caramel and mocha

I read the description and notes much later, but from my memory and tasting scribbles, it rang true!

Kyrö Wood Smoke Rye 47.2% 

  • Nose – Sauna wood smoked, sweet grass
  • Palate – Like a log cabin, cedar plank used to cook fish
  • Finish – Out of nowhere, big and bold!

OK, maybe I was influenced by all the sauna talk… but it really did remind me of a sauna!

What more do they have to say?

With Kyrö Wood Smoke we honour the oldest kind of Finnish sauna – the smoke sauna.

Using an ancient northern tradition, the rye used in Kyrö Wood Smoke has been introduced to alder smoke in a 100-year old “riihi” barn.

Double pot distilled, Kyrö Wood Smoke is then aged in a combination of French oak, new American oak and ex-bourbon casks, resulting in intense pepperiness and sweet notes of caramel and vanilla, lifted by crisp alder smoke.

How incredibly unique!

Kyrö Rye Whisky + Monbazillac Cask “Kyrö’s Choice” 53%

  • Nose – Very different! Almost reminded me a bit of mescal, sweet wood, caraway, and rye
  • Palate – Very big, distinctive, acidic, apples, oats

What more do we know? The co-founder shared it was made, like the others with Finnish malted rye in new oak then a twist with an ex-Monbazillac cask.

Both the Malt & Wood Smoke whiskies retail for around EUR 50 for 500 ml bottles, whereas the special 2022 London Whisky Show Kyrö’s Choice is currently only available through The Whisky Exchange for GBP 65.

If you are curious about other Finland whiskies I’ve sampled, check out the following:

If you don’t want to miss a post, why not follow Whisky Lady on:

London Whisky Show – TBWC Part 1 – North-West Euro Express with Fary Lochan, Kyrö + Helsinki

Kicking off our That Boutique-y Whisky Co’s explorations at the London Whisky Show, was a trio from their North-West Euro Express:

  • Denmark’s Fary Lochan 6 Years (2022) Batch 1 60.7% (TBWC)
  • Finland’s Kyro 4 years Rye (2022) Batch 1 53.1% (TBWC)
  • Finland’s Helsinki Distilling 6 years Rye (2022) Batch 2 58.9% (TBWC)

We began our journey in Denmark… which so far in our whisky adventures has featured only Danica and a few offerings from Stauning – their Young Rye, Peated, and Rye with Mezcal Finish.

To my surprise, TBWC’s Danish dram was from neither – instead, a lesser-known distillery called Fary Lochan. As I learned, there are several distinctive dimensions to this Danish distillery. The founder, Jens-Erik Jorgensen, drew inspiration from memories of smoked cheese from his mother used to smoke over fresh nettles. Jens-Erik made his first tests of smoking his whisky-malt with nettles in 2009 and after his passing in 2016, his spouse and three children continue the tradition. Today they have 4 different styles of malts as their core range – representing a different season, augmented by limited editions.

However, what did we think of this 1st Batch with TBWC?

Denmark’s Fary Lochan 6 Years Batch 1 60.7% 473 bottles, RRP £100 

  • Nose – Oh my! Big rich aromas of chocolate, mocha and malt, forest, lightly herbal, cherries or berries
  • Palate – Distinctive, sharp yet flavourful, mellows into honey, fruity yet with substance
  • Finish – Very fruity
  • Water – Amped up the fruit with a nice tangy edge

Overall we found it young yet delicious. Not such a bad start!

What do the folks at TBWC have to say?

When we learnt that the distillery was located in the village of Farre (which was previously known as Fary) we had that far far away fairy tail image in our head, and so our label is based up on an old style fairy tale woodland glade and a small glistening lake.

Our Fary Lochan is not a nettle smoked malt, but has been matured in an ex-Pedro Ximenez Sherry Cask for full term.

With the TBWC tasting notes:

  • N: A soft and fruity nose, with lots of dark chocolate and hazelnut, Dried fruits, raisins and dates, with hints of roasted coffee.
  • P: Rich and luxurious with rich dark chocolate, Black Forest gateau, black cherry, and an underlying woody char.

======= XXXXX ======= XXXXX ======= XXXXX ======= XXXXX =======

We continued our journey to Finland with not one, but two Finish whiskies. Prior to our intro by TBWC, the only Finnish distillery we tasted was Teerenpeli – of which my favourite remains their 10 year! However what was in store for us? We started with Kyrö and moved on to the Helsinki…

Finland’s Kyrö 4 years Rye (2022) ex-charred American Oak/Refill ex-Bourbon Barrel, Batch 1 53.1% 350 bottles RRP GBP 60

  • Nose – Very unmistakably rye, punchy yet interesting, nutty
  • Palate – Plasto, different and distinctive, malty and clearly rye on the palate too
  • Finish

It was just a quick sniff & swish, however enough to intrigue. We learned that the folks from Kyrö were also a The Whisky Show, so we knew we simply had to explore further!

What do the folks at TBWC have to say?

It seems like every Finnish whisky distillery starts life in a sauna, and Kyrö was no different! Surprisingly, the idea of starting their own distillery still seemed like a good one the following morning, and from there, the journey of Kyrö began.

This is a 100% whole grain malted rye, that went into a new American oak cask for two years before being re-racked into a first fill bourbon barrel for the remainder of its maturation. It’s banging!

And the TBWC tasting notes:

  • N: Vanilla creams, caramel, chalk dust, dried apricot, rye bread dough earthiness, fresh rain on dry ground; petrichor.
  • P: Sweet, malty, toasted rye bread, earthy honey, red berry fruit notes. Hints of coffee linger in the finish. Spectacular!

======= XXXXX ======= XXXXX ======= XXXXX ======= XXXXX =======

From there we moved on to Helsinki Distillery… Started in 2014, the distillery produces gin, whisky and other spirits.

Helsink 6 year (2022) Batch 2, 58.9% 330 Bottles, RRP GBP 70

  • Nose – Imagine a bakery with fragrant fresh rye bread hot out of the oven, then drizzle a little honey… it then shifted into salty smoked salmon, then back to the bakery with ginger biscuits, then to woods with fresh clean pine, then very sweet chocolate
  • Palate – Softer than expected on the palate, with lots of pine and ginger
  • Finish – Spicey and just keeps going

I didn’t know what exactly to expect, however, this was quite an interesting intro to Helsinki’s whiskies. Whilst matured for 6 years, it had quite a ‘jumpy’ young nose however surprisingly smooth palate.

What do they have to say?

It’s a welcome return for a second batch from Finland’s Helsinki Distilling Co. as I was a big fan of the first release we brought to you in our Rye Series last year. This is a 6 Year Old rye whisky, from 70% malted rye, and 30% malted barley, that has been matured for six years in a new charred American oak cask, char level 3.

Low year round temperatures in Helsinki year round leads to a slower interaction with wood. This presents a preferable situation for maturation in powerful, first fill casks. Hell yeah!

And the TBWC tasting notes:

  • N: Deliciously complex! Aromas of coffee, light honey on toasted rye bread, dark chocolate, and hints of pine needles and linseed oil.
  • P: Hints of liquorice, dried apricots, creamy vanilla caramel, coffee, and cocoa, alongside a charred wood smoke note. Love this!

So then… where did our whisky wanderings take us next?? Why to more TBWC offerings!

If you don’t want to miss a post, why not follow Whisky Lady on: