Swedish Single Malt Whisky
Founded in 1999, Mackmyra was first a small scale (30 litre stills) 'test-run' distillery that ran experiments for a few years before going into full production at the full-scale (8000 litre stills) site in 2002. From these experiments came a variety of recipes, of which two are used today: one untainted by smoke, and one 'peated'. The first is from barley dried with just hot air, and the other dried with some peat or bog moss AND juniper tree twigs. Everything is sourced in Sweden, from the water to the barley to yeast to the juniper... Truly Scandi.
Like Glenora Distillery in Nova Scotia, Canada (producers of Glen Breton Rare Canadian Single Malt Whisky), Mackmyra has attracted some critical attention from the Scotch Whisky Association because the 'Mac' in their name might mislead customers into thinking it is Scottish. Right, well we have Glens in Canada, too, if the big maple leaf and word CANADIAN on the bottle don't do the trick [maybe Glenora should get on Macallan's back about the big maple leaf on their new Amber liqueur, someone might think Macallan is Canadian(?)]. And which part of Svensk Whisky are they afraid we won't understand? Enough about that...
The Preludium series uses casks from the early experimental days and from the current distillery, with different casks, different malted barley, different cask sizes, different maturing locations... a bunch of variables with which Eskil Tunberg and the rest of the team at Mackmyra Svensk Whisky can do with whatever they choose! And so far, the results have been wholly unique if not incredibly promising. They are therefore trying a few different styles with each expression in the series. The series will reach a total of 6 by the end of 2007. Prelumdium: 4 is already available from Royal Mile Whiskies. This sample was shared by the amazing Whisky Exchange
This stuff gets swept up by Swedes almost as soon as it hits shelves; one would think that Systembolaget (Sweden's State-run wine and spirit monopoly) gets a pretty miserable allocation. Mind you, the rest of us are doing a pretty good job of buying up the rest... Mackmyra Preludium 3 caused a buzz at Whisky Live in London and good things keep coming to, and from, this young distillery.
Young, hot nose, with sweet smoke, uncrushed peppercorns, lemon juice, and oak. Sappy new/living wood fires. Sour yeastiness emerges with time in the glass as well as some toffee.
Clay, big wood on the palate then an eruption of fresh tobacco and aromatic smoke, toasted oak. Heavy smokiness as well, with a soil-y swampiness and depth that eventually gives way to biscuits, vegetable oil, and a slow re-surfacing from the depths of the earth. Ginger. Sumac.Salt, lager/brewers yeast?, and yes, juniper.
Doesn't come easy, doesnt go out of its way to charm, but does begin to flirt with patience and attention. Will not be for everyone because while it is unique, it is not totally 'together', and the youth may repel some palates as well. Comparisons? 01 was light, young, fragrant and similar to a Scottish Lowlander, 02 was a spicy, more sherried Speysider, the 03 is some odd island style, Ledaliskapa Park 5yo.
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