The Swedish distillers at Mackmyra have quite the roster of whiskies available with a core range and a fairly prolific set of limited editions releases. The key element to each release is flavour, with the core “Signature” range focussing on their house style, the “Seasons” range focussing on (evidently) seasonal influences and different cask finishes, and the “Moment” series consisting of very limited runs of even-more-experimental finishes. Virtually all releases are no-age-statement. That is, except for this release: 10 Years Old. Unfortunately limited to a short run, the Ten Years is bottled at 46.1% ABV, having been matured in a combination of ex-Bourbon casks, ex-Oloroso sherry casks and new American oak casks.
Grassy vanilla. No, make that vanilla-y grass. There’s a really clean, almost clinical, malt note to this and a final menthol note that seems to the clean the passageways along with the alcohol.
Rolls of vanilla across the tongue – soft and creamy like texture. A very pure bourbon barrel oak flavour (without the corny syrup like flavour but with a syrupy texture) on a clean malt body and the 46.1% ABV really makes the tongue tingle despite the soft texture – that menthol note reappears on the finish
An intensifying spice and boozy prickle that really lingers long after the vanilla and pure malt flavours dissipate with just a few orchard fruity flavour appearing as it all fades away.
For all the new flavours/finishes being offered by Mackmyra this seems like one for the whisky purists as it seems like a celebration of the base malt itself. The dram itself is not the oldest whisky that they have released, but it is the first time that they’ve focussed on having an age statement, ableit sadly, only as a temporary release. Did the dram live up to my expectations? No. It exceeded them. The nose had a bright and sharp vanilla smell with that syrupy bourbon barrel tang. This continued into the taste, which brought out more of that sweet vanilla creaminess to the palate and a little aftertaste of orchard fruits. Beyond that there was not much to talk about, but that wasn’t a bad thing. Mackmyra bottle and release their new make spirit, called Vit Hund (named after the whiskymakers’ nickname for the spirit: the White Dog) and the 10 Years Old just tasted like a balanced development of that original Vit Hund. Only the finish started to bring about those orchard fruity flavours at the end of the taste experience. I was surprised to find out that roughly 30% of the dram was from spirit that had been matured in oloroso casks, as I couldn’t really pick up much of a sherry fruity influence. What the dram did remind me of though was the simplicity and purity of the Laddie Ten released by Bruichladdich (one of my all time favourites) because whilst it wasn’t drowning in “complexity”, it did have lots of subtle flavours on board which just worked well together to make a nice, clean, vanilla-sweet whisky.
Sample disclosure: This sample was received as part of a ticketed tasting event. All notes are intended as honest, fair and independent review of the whisky and not as a promotion.