18 years ago when we started the SMWC, I must admit I didn’t think I’d ever be introducing a whisky from Sweden! But here we are – that’s how far single malt whisky has come since the Club kicked off. Back then single malt whisky was all about Sottish whisky, and Scottish regions. The Australian ‘whisky revolution’ was still very young and the thought of ‘world whisky’ was really, well, not thought of. I’m really quite proud of the role the SMWC has played in the bringing the ‘world whisky’ concept to so many people.
In 2006 we offered our first foray into ‘world whisky’ with (what else?) an Aussie – the Smith Angaston 7yo. Many of our members were amazed to find out we had whisky being made in Australia back then. 2008 saw us offer an Irish Single Malt and in 2010 the first New Zealand made it’s way to Australia via the Club. We’ve introduced English malts, French malts, American single malts, Indian, Japanese, Taiwanese and back in 2020 we introduced a new World Whisky brand from the unlikeliest of places, Israel, into Australia – Milk & Honey. That little world whisky just won best in the world! Yep, ‘world whisky’ has come a long way since this little Club started.
This month we’re all about Sweden! njut av!
Nose: green apple crispness and under-ripe bananas, flaky pastry vanilla slice with floral notes and a touch of marzipan sweetness.
Palate: Lovely viscous mouthfeel, a light pepper burst precedes a sweet fruitiness, candied peel, honey, and vanilla with a real ginger-nut biscuit spiciness in the tail.
Finish: The finish has a delightful, almost dairy feel to it. Like a citrus spiked crème brulee with extra caramelised sugar on top.
Beautiful mouthfeel with a lovely creaminess just makes this such a pleasant whisky to sip on. The spiciness presents as a ‘hot ginger’ type rather than white pepper. Beautiful balance of spice and fruit as well. The Swedish oak doesn’t really present as anything ‘foreign’ or ‘out of place’ or ‘unusual’ – but I assume (from communicating with the distillery) that the ‘ginger nut spiciness’ is at least partly it’s signature. I really like this – not as a ‘novelty’ – but as a whisky, Mackmyra Svensk Ek Swedish Whisky really stands up!
The flagship Swedish whisky created using 100% Swedish ingredients. Casks coopered from Swedish oak create a more firm and spicy flavour. Mackmyra Svensk Ek Swedish Whisky is matured in Swedish oak casks giving the whisky a spicy character giving notes of sandalwood, dried ginger, black pepper, roasted oak barrel and herbs to our whisky.
We are constantly developing our ancient craft to make it even better. One example of our many innovations is to age a great deal of our whisky in smaller barrels thereby extracting more flavour.
When we started with Svensk Ek as a product we used oaks from an Island owned by the Crown, called Visingsö, in large lake in the middle of Sweden. This oak trees were planted early days to be used for shipbuilding for the Royal Swedish Navy. But as time change the oak trees were in no use, until we started buying them for whisky casks. Now the trees are protected and we use Swedish Oak grow elsewhere in Sweden.
Nose: Fruity with citrus, pear, apple and honey. A light oakiness with sweet, lightly toasted bread notes and fresh butter toffee.
Taste: Svensk Ek has a spicy character giving notes of sandalwood, dried ginger, black pepper, roasted oak barrel and herbs to our whisky. Fruity and smooth with citrus, caramel and honey. A light oakiness can be discerned at the end.
Palate: The aftertaste is tuned and balanced with hints of dark chocolate.
The idea to produce a Swedish whisky was conceived by eight friends in a mountain cabin back in 1998. To ensure they stayed in touch after studying engineering together, the group had a tradition of meeting up in Sälen once a year. This time, purely by chance, everyone had brought along a bottle of whisky. During dinner, one of them wondered why there was no Swedish malt whisky, and, if it was possible, why hadn’t anyone already done it? The question remained unanswered but, before long,the vision to become pioneers and produce the first Swedish malt whisky took shape. One year later, in 1999, Mackmyra Svensk Whisky was established.
From the outset Mackmyra was fully focused on creating a whisky which was quintessentially Swedish. The journey began with local barley,spring water and Swedish oak. Even the smoky recipe has a Swedish signature and is malted and smoked by hand using locally cut peat together with juniper twigs. A short distance from the distillery, the whisky is then aged in a unique location; the old Bodås Mine, 50 metres underground.
Today, Mackmyra produces whisky with the same curiosity and experimental zeal as in 1999, but now in the ground-breaking Gravity Distillery, which harnesses the force of gravity to aid production and is designed to substantially reduce the carbon footprint. Guided by the historical knowledge of whisky production, Mackmyra employs its own methods to create innovative products using Swedish ingredients.
The eco-friendly Gravity Distillery in Mackmyra Whisky Village was completed in 2011, becoming the company’s second full-scale distillery.At the back of the distillery are two large silos each filled with around 40 tonnes of malt – one holding Mackmyra’s smoked malt and one containing unsmoked malt. The first phase of production sees the malt raised to the top of the 35-metre tall distillery. Harnessing the force of gravity between the different phases of production, the ingredients are then transported downwards, undergoing a new phase on each level. During five stages, malted barley, yeast and water are processed into a finished new make spirit.