Mackmyra – Skördetid
Mackmyra are renowned for their no age statement, flavour-dominated expressions and are very capable of keeping their collectors happy with numerous limited editions and seasonal releases. This whisky is no different in that respect, but quite different in many others. This seasonal release is named with the Swedish word for “harvest time” and is intended to celebrate the flavours of the grape vine harvest, by maturing some of Mackmyra’s quality stock from the Bodas mines for a final 6 months in Amarone red wine casks (provided by Masi Costasera). The packaging of the full product matches the latter’s former barrel contents with red wine colours and certainly befits the festive season for which it has been released. Available for a limited time only, this expression is bottled at the distillery’s preferred favourite 46.1% ABV.
Wow. There’s so much going on here. There’s that distinctive sweet and malty Mackmyra barley, but it is also quite drying, with a nutty spice. It’s a pretty punchy and fresh spirit here too – still recognisable as coming from their raw spirit (Vit Hund) nose – with quite a lot of sweetness. Not too much vanilla sweetness though, and with the red fruit influence there also and a fresh wood / saw dust note in the background, this could be my longest nosing note yet!
Strong malt to begin with, giving it a big biscuit bite, then comes the red grape fruitiness that we’ve been waiting for and some warming spices like nutmeg and ginger.
It’s a firey finish. Quite chemically actually but it soon dissipates. Juicy red fruits left behind (strawberries, cherries, and more red grapes). A cut and dry finale.
Clearly the red wine casks are playing their part and strongly influencing the Mackmyra body that I’ve come to recognise (see notes on 7 other Mackmyra releases here). It’s certainly tasty stuff. Given the timing involved, I would love to taste the whisky again after way more than it’s 6 months in the Amarone casks as experienced here. On balance it tastes a lot like their Brukswhisky with added dollops of raisins and red grapes. We’ll never know the age of this whisky, as that’s not the Swedes’ way, but it feels very fresh and young. The youth seems to make everything quite extreme on the palate too. Overall, there are a lot of strong flavours at play but it is all balanced well and I rather enjoyed this. I’m also glad that this featured in the Dram Team’s monthly subscription because at £75 per bottle, it’s not exactly something I’d buy on a whim – not that I could any more as it’s totally sold out! Chalk up another success for Mackmyra!
Categories: Mackmyra, Tasting Notes
Tags: 101 Whiskies, 101 Whiskies To Try Before You Die, Amarone, Mackmyra, Masi, Seasonal, Single Malt, Single Malt Whisky, Skördetid, Sweden, Swedish, whisky
Compass Box Range – Double Single
Sat within Compass Box’s Limited Edition Range is the Double Single blended scotch whisky. For this release, the blenders have sought to demonstrate that a blended whisky need not feature fractional components of dozens of whiskies to create an enjoyable blended whisky experience. Based on this premise, the whisky gets its name from the fact that it is a blend of just two whiskies: one single malt whisky from Glen Elgin, and one single grain whisky from Girvan distillery. The malt whisky forms the lion’s share of this dram, comprising 72% of the total liquid, and both elements have been matured in re-charred, ex-bourbon barrels. Whilst the age of maturation for these components is not available, the fuller details are available here. The ‘simple’ blend has then been married together and bottled at 46% ABV.
Nose: This has a very sweet nose. Rich vanilla at first and then the barley malts and grist are there at the back. Very clean. No nonsense here.
Taste: There is a great combo of malt complexity and grain simplicity at play. The palate just allows those initial vanilla and malt flavours to develop. The flavour profiles of vanilla and malt are really exaggerated too, like taking a mouthful of chewy milk bottle sweets and digestive biscuits – hopefully with less damage to the teeth!
Finish: It leaves a nice, syrupy coating of the throat – which makes sense with all the sweetness at play.
Verdict: This is a really enjoyable, light whisky. The ex-bourbon barrels are certainly doing their part to infuse the vanillin into the whisky components, and that particularly accentuates the Girvan grain whisky. It is then all down to the blender’s skill and mastery to ensure that this vanilla-bomb does not compromise any of the single malt’s complexities, and they have achieved that goal. What a job that must be! Given how enjoyable this is, it did get us talking about maybe trying our own blending at home with our own single malts and single grain whiskies – but would that then be sacrilege to mess with the original whiskies themselves? Well, I guess you’ve got to start somewhere… but maybe we should first investigate finding a blending class before splashing around some Lagavulin 16 in the name of experimentation!
Categories: Compass Box, Tasting Notes
Tags: Blend, Blended Whisky, Compass Box, Double Single, Girvan, Glen Elgin, Grain, scotch, Scotch Whisky, Single, Single Grain, Single Malt, Single Malt Whisky, whisky
Miltonduff 7 Years Old
Well, it’s my first whisky review of the new year, and it’s a new distillery to me, despite being one of the first distilleries in Scotland to get an official license and still being one of the largest working distilleries in the Speyside area. Miltonduff distillery is located in the northern part of the world-famous whisky-making region, situated near Elgin. The site has traditionally produced two styles/brands of whisky: Miltonduff (unpeated) and Mosstowie (lightly peated). The majority of Miltonduff’s output currently goes into the Chivas Regal blend, however they have been known to release their own single malt expressions in the past. Nowadays, Miltonduff single malts are more readily available via independent bottlings, of which this dram is one such example and features in Douglas Laing’s Provenance range. This whisky had been maturing for just 7 years in a refill hogshead barrel before being selected by the revered indies for bottling and sale at 46% ABV.
After a fairly light boozy burn, there’s a distinct set of sweet and nutty smells at play here. Marzipan. Almond. Warm custard. After a little while, the sweetness fades and there’s a tiny liquorice/anise smell that pokes through and a damp oak scent that lingers.
Ooooh it’s sweet. And I like it. It reminds me of walking passed (who am I kidding) Patisserie Valerie. There’s a creaminess to the body too that adds to the cream eclair and pastry flavours. There’s a little bit of a ‘cooked’ taste to it too. Finally, there’s a slight bit of spice towards the end too. Again, reminiscent of sweet baked goods.
Fairly quick and tingly. That sweetness lingers longer than the booze itself.
Wow. This dram appears to be some sort of pudding whisky! I’m surprised by its gentle flavours too because it is so young and has lots to give. This clearly must be displaying the flavours of the original product as much as the barrel’s influence here. It is fresh and punchy enough for a young whisky but it’s not too wild and seems to have already matured into a pretty mellow whisky overall. It’s final delivery is sweet and warming. For an uninitiated Miltonduff drinker, this is a great experience for my first dram from this distillery.
Categories: Miltonduff, Tasting Notes
Tags: 7 Years Old, Douglas Laing, Independent Bottling, malt, Miltonduff, scotch, Scotch Whisky, Single, Single Malt, Single Malt Whisky, Speyside, whisky