Another month, another Mackmyra review and another first (certainly for me): a cloudberry wine seasoned single malt! Happy days! (I really could get used to this!)
The Fjällmark (‘Mountain Land’) expression sits within the Moments range of Mackmyra releases, representing another rare and unique offering into the whisky world. The bottled spirit comprises a series of malt whiskies aged between 8 and 13 years old. The blend of malts have been aged in Pedro Ximenez casks, Oloroso Sherry casks and the enigmatic Swedish cloudberry wine casks. In fact, Mackmyra provide total transparency and confirm that the whisky consists of stock aged in:
- 1st fill American oak casks that previously held cloudberry wine (120l)
- 1st fill French oak casks that previously held cloudberry wine (100l) with a ‘smoke tail’
- 1st fill Swedish oak casks that previously held cloudberry wine (100l)
- 2nd fill ex-bourbon barrels that previously held oloroso wine (200l)
- 2nd fill ex-bourbon barrels that previously held Pedro Ximenez sherry (200l).
The regular 70cl bottle retails around £95, as with most of the Moments range, and has been housed at 42% ABV and is limited to 4200 bottles.
Quite fusty/musty/dusty (delete as applicable). Whatever your preference, this seems all quite cloudy and confused at first and then, after a bit of time, those clouds start to clear and loads of fruits just start coming out: strawberries, raspberries, cherries, plums, crisp apples and that strange funky smell that you get off grape skins. [ed: such a weird note to reference but it was all thar I could then think of once the image had popped into my head.] Little in the way of spice or oak at the forefront, but they’re there in the distance.
First and foremost this has a very soft and silky texture. Like warm butter or soft fudge. It just glides across the tongue and there’s hardly any alcoholic tingle at all. What it does then is just start to release soft but earthy fruit flavours. In addition to the abundance of fruits listed on the nose there’s a strong fuzzy peach and nectarine type set of flavours. There’s even a little tartness that reminds me of grapefruit. The sweetness and buttery softness also bring milk chocolate to mind.
A nice bit of oak spice (ginger, nutmeg and sweet cinnamon) and a little boozy tingle appear amongst the earthy fruits but it’s all about the berries and cherries here.
It’s intoxicating. And I don’t mean in the obvious booze sense. I mean, it just welcomes you to keep on nosing it. In fact the whisky was warm by the time I actually came to drinking it. It’s kinda unlike any whisky I’ve had before but it had a hint of apple and malt that show trace of that Mackmyra hallmark – a Fjällmark hallmark – that keeps you there. It’s kinda like a more extreme or foggy version of their Äppelblom. That fogginess comes from the earthy flavours that seem to just round off the edges or dampen the absolute torrent of juicy and zesty fruits. It’s unusual for Mackmyra to have a whisky below 46% and I wonder if this whisky was at that strength whether or not it would pop out a bit more or really pronounce any particular elements. To be honest – based on only a measure of this, mind – this is barely recognisable as a single malt. It’s got all the signposts of a spirit that someone brings back from holiday somewhere – presumably Swedish cloudberry wine in this case – unusual and very much getting the boozy job done. In fact, it proves quite a revelation as to where a whisky can be taken via its maturation to be fair – and that both piques my interest and keeps my hopes up that my whisky journey won’t be up any time soon. Overall this is quite unusual and, what I don’t think I’ve yet said, pretty damn tasty. Definitely to be filed under “different” and one for the more intrepid whisky explorers out there.
Sample disclosure: This sample was received as part of the Summerton Virtual Whisky Festival tasting pack that came with the ticket to the event. A well organised event with great drams and contributions from the whisky makers and fans alike. All notes here are intended as an honest, fair and independent review of the whisky itself and not as a promotion. Please drink responsibly, and most importantly, wisely.