Celebrating 30+ European whiskies!

In the grand scheme of things, trying 30 whiskies is no big deal.

But when you live in India and those happen to be European whiskies… it is an accomplishment!

Let’s face it, exploring the world of whiskies behind a crazy custom’s “curtain” that restricts access not just bringing into India but state by state… means relying on individuals making an effort to source directly from far-flung lands rather than simply strolling over to a corner liquor store.

Hence it is indeed a celebration – with thanks – to share a summary of European samples! Now… just providing a list alone isn’t fun.. so with each, I’ve shared a fleeting impression so you can see what might peak your interest to read more…

European Whiskies  

Many of the Nordic whiskies came compliments of 

The Europe page is continuously updated as we explore more whiskies, so feel free to check back anytime to read of more!

PS – Anyone spot the ‘malted spirit’ rather than proper whisky??

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Nordic Explorers – What a journey!

Over the past few months, a fellow whisky lady and I have slowly been working our way through a delightful dozen 20 ml bottles representing five Nordic countries and seven distilleries.

There were some highlights and lowlights and it was a fascinating tasting travel. For those who missed the individual posts, I thought I would share a short synopsis of our Nordic journey…

Sweden - Smogen + Box

Denmark

Finland

Iceland

Norway

Sweden

Nordic Whisky Set

*** Thank you again 

Now… to fill these bottles back up and return the favour. What shall we chose for Thomas to try??

PS These are not the only Nordic whiskies we’ve sampled… Check out the Europe page.

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Nordic Explorer #3 – Sweden’s Box Whisky Shareholders 2016 52%

Our Nordic exploration continued our Swedish journey, shifting from Smögen to Box Distilleri.

Box distillery, is located in Ådalen, in buildings that previously housed a power station and sawmill, previously used to make wooden boxes for England. Like Smögen, it was also founded in 2010 and was founded by two brothers – Per and Mats de Wahl.

Their focus is on using Swedish organically grown barley and their whisky takes advantage of the climate range with its range of hot summers and cold winters. As Hasse Nilsson shared in an interview with Dominick Roskrow in Connosr:

“One of our goals is to be the whisky friends’ and connoisseurs’ distillery. Whisky made by experts for experts is something different than whisky made to be ingredients in big brands blending.”

Sweden - Smogen + Box

Box Whisky Shareholder 2016 3 year 52%

  • Nose – Banana, organic sweet, lots of overripe fruits, some stewed fruits and spice, very fruit sweet…
  • Palate – Pepper spice, subtle smoke, some ginger, a bit bitter, fruit, candied lime sweet
  • Finish – Medium dry
  • Water – Brought out a cologne like quality!

Overall quite minimalist in approach, very fruity on the nose and smoky spice on the palate with a dry finish.

As we read up about the whisky post tasting we were most amused to discover the wee kerfuffle over it originally being intended only for shareholders… then details being leaked so that anyone quick on the draw had access!

As for us? We felt indeed rather fortunate to be part of the rare coterie to try such a dram.

*** Whiskies courtesy of 

For more information on Box whiskies, do read Thomas’ posts on Whisky Saga. Specifically:

More Nordic whisky experiences coming soon!

You can also find Whisky Lady in India on:

Nordic Explorer #2 – Sweden’s Smögen Sherry Project 1:4 57.2%

Our first session exploring our Nordic whiskies sample set began with a rather terrific 4 year old whisky from Sweden’s Smögen distillery.

The Smögen Sherry Project was intended to explore the increasing influence of a sherry cask on a young whisky.

  • 1:1 had a 4 months sherry finish
  • 1:2 had 8 months sherry finish
  • 1:3 had 14 months sherry finish
  • 1:4 was fully matured in 1st fill sherry quarter casks (cask #25-27, and 29)

Our benefactor shared with us the last instalment in the Smögen Sherry Project… here is what we found…

Photo: Master of Malt

Photo: Master of Malt

Smögen Sherry Project 1:4 57.2%

  • Nose – Clear sherry stamp, spice, in some ways quite direct, in others not… as though there were two distinct layers – a lower one with sherry and an upper note that was fresh, light with hints of pine. After it aired further, became significantly sweeter like an icing sugar drizzle over cake, marzipan, vanilla
  • Palate – For such a layered nuanced nose, the palate initially seemed a bit flat, a bit malty, wood, strong, pepper, nuts… settling into a sherry
  • Finish – Sweet spice

Overall a range of elements – sooooo sweet on the nose, bitter on the palate and a dancing spice finish. In some ways this whisky is a bit ‘hard’ yet not in the least harsh.

Here is what the distillery has to share:

Sherry Project 1: 4 – Fourth and final release in the series “Sherry Project 1”. Bottled day after “1: 3” in August 2015, four years old and 55.7% strong. Matured in sherry casks quarterback (barrel No. 25-27, 29/2011), European oak. Released by Systembolaget in November 2015 with 909 bottles.

This has a very clearly marked character of Sherry and barrels; very powerful whiskey with great depth and tones mainly of crushed peat-smoked malt, nutmeg, black pepper, orange zest and almonds.  

Sweden - Smogen + Box

*** Whiskies courtesy of 

For more information on Smögen whiskies, do read Thomas’ posts on Whisky Saga. Specifically:

More Nordic whisky experiences coming soon!

You can also find Whisky Lady in India on:

Nordic Explorer #1 – Sweden’s Smögen Single Cask 7/2011 4 year 57.3%

Our Nordic whiskies were exceedingly well packed and safely made their journey from Norway to Sweden to India.

Our benefactor thoughtfully gave us the option of tasting blind so only labeled the bottles with a number, sharing separately by email the ‘key’ to unlock which whisky was which.

So naturally we decided to go literally in order of 1, 2, 3, 4… to see what we would discover!

Sweden - Smogen + Box

The first two whiskies just so happened to be from Sweden’s Smögen distillery, named after the nearby Smögen island.

A new entry in the world of whiskies, Smögen was founded in 2010 by lawyer, whisky enthusiast and author Pär Caldenby with a vision to produce an Islay-like whisky using heavily peated malt from Scotland and local barley.

Photo: Master of Malt

Photo: Master of Malt

Smögen Single Cask 7/2011 4 year 57.3%

  •  Nose – Initially quite a punch, sweet caramel, a little wood resin, candy sweet, apricot, nutty marzipan… as it aired a quality a bit like a lovely bright wine, smoked wood, vanilla
  • Palate – No doubt this was a cask strength whisky welcoming you with a ‘Hello, I’m here to envelop you, expand your senses further’ Smoked oak like the shadow effect of peat… very much present yet well rounded, hint of bitter nut
  • Finish – Subtle, sweet with a lovely smoke finish
  • Water – A bouquet of fruit, super sweet like a sachet of sweet spices to infuse a dish. On the palate, the bitter element became even more pronounced, flattening the earlier expansive quality.

We greedily went through this sample. This was the favourite of our first tasting session and we both wish we had more! If ever you stumble across this rare bottle, you will not regret making an extra effort to have a sample.

The distillery has this to share about the bottle:

First fill Sauternes Chateau barrique, 429 bottles, filled in a barrel 11
March 2011, bottled March 28, 2015, released August 2015 via Systembolaget, where it sold out in seconds. Peat smoked at least 45 ppm phenol.

*** Whiskies courtesy of 

For more information on Smögen whiskies, do read Thomas’ posts on Whisky Saga. Specifically:

More Nordic whisky experiences coming soon!

You can also find Whisky Lady in India on:

Nordic Whiskies – Explorer’s Edition

Once upon a time there was a Swedish lass who wandered her way to India…

She came upon a gal from the Canadian prairies

Who just so happened to have a penchant for whiskies

Which became a shared passion

And their forays into further malty discoveries commenced…

Along the way, the Swedish lass decided it was high time to check out what her erstwhile home and native land could produce. Hence the distinctive Mackmyra Svensk Rök made its way to the Whisky Ladies of Mumbai.

However it merely whetted their appetites for more… Yet how to quench this thirst for Nordic whiskies in merry Mumbai?

20160713-NordicWhiskyTo their rescue came a kind gentleman with a collection of Nordic whiskies – vast and wide! He hand-picked a special ‘Nordic explorers edition‘ of remarkable whisky samples.

This care package wound its way first from Norway to Sweden then on to India… the precious cargo revealed a goodie pack of whiskies… and the lasses could not contain their excitement at receiving such bounty!

Coming soon will be tales of Nordic tastings… a delightful dozen representing five countries and seven brands.

Denmark

Finland

Iceland

Norway

Sweden

Nordic Whisky Set

Stay tuned for notes on our Nordic whisky experiences coming soon!

*** Whiskies courtesy of 

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