Mackmyra Single Malt Whiskies are very Scandinavian in design, quite literally then. You can really taste Sweden in all their whiskies and they are very dedicated to constantly explore new ways to achieve this in all the incarnations of their Swedish Single Malt. Let’s have a look at 5 very different Mackmyra explorations!
Mackmyra is the child of a group of Swedish friends who, in 1999, asked themselves: ‘why on earth is there no Swedish whisky?’ It is really absurd not to have Swedish whisky they reasoned and right they were. Scandinavia always had a decent reputation and experience in distilling, especially considering Aquavit and Wodka taking the small jump to whisky was nothing but logical.
So they immediately put things into motion and some ten years later they produced their own Swedish Single Malt. And it’s not just a single malt, it’s Svensk in all its aspects: Swedish barley, Swedish pebble-stream water, Swedish oak, Swedish high tech gravity distillery and Swedish abandoned mine (used to mature the stuff in).
In case you wondered what a gravity distillery is, just imagine a very tall building and pour in the barley and water at the top floor and then take the escalator down to the ground floor where it comes out as whisky. Naturally they employ a zero-waste philosophy and being Swedish they go quite far in this. They even reuse the straw of the barley and use it to make a gigantic sculpture of a goat on christmas in Gävele (it’s a yule thing). Let’s have a closer look at 5 Mackmyra explorations.
Gruvguld literally means ‘gold from the mine’, referring to the abandoned Bodas mine they use for maturing most or all of their whiskies. Gruvguld, the name always triggers my imagination and takes me back to Scandinavian mythology where dwarves were forging magical golden rings in their dark caves. It’s a great conversation starter.
The whisky is very nice. The Swedish barley is very present in its flavour profile (as with all Mackmyra products I tasted) and then turns into smoother sweet tones of dates, figs and dried raisins, finishing off woody and spiced. The dwarves’ gold makes you smile.
Skördetid is an exceptionally lush and sensual whisky with a rich, oily texture. It has hints of cherries, blueberries and raisins with strong touches of old wood. It reminded us of a delicious cherry pie with whipped cream.
Skördetid means ‘harvest time’ and that is exactly the right time to drink it, under warm red dusk skies and before or after a bit of frolicking in the hay. What makes it special is that it received a 6 months finish on Masi Costasera Amarone casks. This exceptional Italian wine makes for the specific sweet and fruity notes in the whisky. I never tasted a whisky quite like this. It is very special and extremely pleasant to drink. It quickly became one of Mackmyra’s favourites to me personally.
Svensk Rök Amerikansk Ek
Believe me, the Swedish people know a thing or two about smoking things. Anything from themselves in a sauna up to a salmon on the grill. Asking a Swede to smoke something is like pointing a viking, carrying a burning torch, to the nearest cloister. You know he will rejoice in doing his utmost best to make something spectacular out of it.
The smoke they used is spiked with juniper and a little bit of peat. The smell is quite smoky and it’s even more present in the taste, which is rather sweet and honey like.
If you like smoked whiskies you should definitely try this, because it is not the sort of smokiness you will be used to. To me personally it was a bit too smokey, like drinking the ashes from a burnt down bourbon barrel, but then again Svensk rök is not your average rök.
Fjällmark means as much as mountain soil or rocky area and we presume it refers to the place were cloudberries grow. They are, apparently the most sought after berries in Sweden and this particular Mackmyra whisky has a maturation finish in barrels that previously held cloudberry wine. This results in a soft, smooth, fruity and sweet whisky. Now, the problem is I was expecting something like Skördetid, but with different fruit notes. The thing is, I haven’t got a clue how cloudberries taste and I was dying to try some, which constantly made me go looking for something I didn’t know. So the whisky is a very well balanced, super smooth spirit, but it wasn’t quite the exploration I hoped for.
Prestige is very, very nice. It has aged for 11 years on Champagne casks (Philipponnat) which gives it a crisp dryness with a particular panache that you don’t encounter very often in a whisky. I liked it a lot, there were like hints of dry vermouth in it, but not dominating, very well balanced with the ever present touch of barley you find in most Mackmyras. Together with Skördetid and Gruvguld, one of my favourites. A bottle to save for special occasions.
P.S. Mackmyra is fantastic, not only because it has a refreshing new vision on whisky, but also because they make Motörhead Whisky 😉