It’s that time of the month again for another Mackmyra post – my “Mack Of The Month“, if you will – and it is also that time of the year again, where Mackmyra are set to release a new seasonal release. The Swedish distillers look to release two expressions a year that explore the seasons, namely Spring/Summer and Autumn/Winter. It doesn’t seem too long since the Grönt Te was released, but just how the world has changed since! Without getting sucked into talking about That though, let’s focus on the finer things in life, and with that, let’s discuss Jaktlycka.
Read out as “yakt-licker” for those (like myself) that are not familiar with Swedish pronunciation, this whisky represents the Autumn/Winter seasonal release from the distillery, and it looks to focus purely on the Autumn season – which is only fair given that the release from this time last year was the ‘Vintersol‘ (“Winter Sun”). The ‘Jaktlycka’ name translates to “Happy Hunting” or “Hunting Success” and has been created with the taste of Swedish autumnal berries at its core.
As ever, the Swedes have sought to put together another whisky which looks to push the boundaries of whisky maturation and influence. This time, Master Blender and Chief Nosing Officer Angela D’Orazio [ed: what a job title!] has built on the Mackmyra base malt via a collaboration with Swedish berry wine producers Grythyttan. This partnership has therefore seen Mackmyra’s whisky matured in casks that have previously housed the Grythyttan red wine “Jakt” which is made with blueberries and lingonberries foraged from the forests of Bergslagen, Sweden. As with other releases, the distillers have provided a lot of transparency over the process and the details can be found here, with their product card sharing that the batch has been created via a combination of casks as follows:
- Saturated American Oak, 30-100 litres
- Saturated Swedish Oak, 30-100 litres
- Saturated Ex-Bourbon Casks, 30-100 litres
- New and 1st full American Oak, 128 litres
- New and 1st fill Oloroso Sherry Casks, 128-200 litres
The final product will run as a one-off seasonal release, and has been captured at the house favourite alcohol strength of 46.1% ABV, and it will be available from 2nd September 2020 for an RRP of £60 GBP. It can be pre-ordered now and sent with free delivery to UK customers in time for its official release. I’ve posted the press release separately which contains further details should you wish to buy your own. Hopefully the following may help you make that decision though as for now… to the important bit…
Well, I’m trying to avoid letting the marketing influence me, BUT the initial smells remind me of… the woodlands. That’s what I get from combining the first few smells anyway: they’re woody, dew-like, sappy and a little earthy – like the kind of early sensations you get when you wake up from a night of camping to a wet morning. Particularly one where you’ve been boozing. With a little bit of time, the distinctive Mackmyra apple flavour that I’ve become very familiar with starts to show, although, when coupled with the earthy smell, maybe it reminds me more of the smell of pears and pear drop sweets. This is then joined by and rounded out with some honey, raisins and a whole host of the berries that I was expecting upfront: blueberries, cranberries and blackberries.
Ooooh, the nose is all sweetness and fond memories, but then as soon as it hits the lips, there’s a cloying texture and strong peppery oak spice that takes over which then seems to bring the sweetness along with it. Going back in, and that initial texture and flavour now really reminds me of a piney, tree sap – a flavour that was only part of the medley on the nose originally. It’s not totally overpowering though and second and third time around, the honey sweetness re-emerges along with the handful of berries [ed: pancakes and berries anyone?] and the peppery spice is now joined by a crystallised ginger type flavour. There’s a lot of good breakfast ingredients here, come to think of it. Delicious.
Pepper and oak lead the finish and fade out, leaving that sap-like flavour, then there’s a final mixed berry sweetness and tartness.
With the UK having been battered by storms within the last week or so, it seems that the autumn season has been brought in early this year and this whisky seems to suit that change perfectly. The nose was so evocative of certain memories that I have that it just fits this time of the year. That’s one of the beauties of whisky, anyway, right? It’s totally subjective. So these notes might just be mine (and probably influenced by the marketing) but they seemed to really strike me, and I hope that they do for you too if you are lucky enough to try some. Yet another example of how whisky is currently being pushed in different directions and redefined with really good results.
Also, this is a whisky that could really be used as an example as to why you should try and spend a good amount of time smelling a whisky before diving straight in, as the two experiences on this one differed quite a lot. The nose had a lot going on, and the flavours all gently unfurled, but in the mouth the gentle spice from the nose was really cranked up and took the whisky into a bigger and fuller direction that the nose wasn’t letting on. The berry influence was there and delightful, but for me, the real standout sensation was the one-two punch of taste and texture with the evocative autumnal feelings via those sweet, tangy and cloying sap-like sensations. A tasty and timely whisky.
Sample disclosure: Please note that this sample was received as part of a press release pack and promotion for the upcoming release of the Jaktlycka single malt whisky directly from Mackmyra. All tasting notes and thoughts on this are my own however and are intended as an honest, fair and independent review of the whisky itself. Please remember to drink responsibly and wisely.
Photos: As with all posts, all photos are my own unless otherwise stated.