What the heck, before I head back to Scotland, let’s try another one more single malt whisky from our friends in Sweden, Mackmyra. This time we will try their Svensk Rök single malt whisky. By the way, if you happened to miss my first review of a Mackmyra whisky, their Special:06 Summer Meadow, you can scroll down the page or here is a link. In the previous review I include some interesting background information on the, relatively new, Mackmyra Distillery.
Svensk Rök, which means Swedish Smoke, is the first release of a peated whisky from Mackmyra. This whisky was originally released in 2013 and is now out of stock, at least in the stores I monitor. Svensk Rök is bottled at 46.1% abv and, as with all Mackmyra whiskies, there is no added coloring and no chill-filtration.
Apparently, Juniper is a wood used commonly in Sweden to provide fragrance to cooking, and here, Mackmyra has used Juniper in the kilns as they dried the barley. The Juniper imparts a fragrant and singularly Swedish twist to peated whisky that is very enjoyable. Note: as I first tasted this whisky without any background information about the methods used, you will see that the juniper was obvious to me, but I described it with terms such as “piney”, “menthol” and “eucalyptus”……which, in hindsight, now knowing how Mackmyra processed the barley for this whisky, is a pretty reasonably close description.
Review: Mackmyra Svensk Rök, Single Malt Whisky
Color: diluted white wine – very pale – similar to Special:06
Nose: The initial nose shows an interesting charcoal note, a light “piney” peat, a minerality similar to what I picked up with the Special:06 – maybe this is common to Mackmyra whiskies? – a soft campfire smoke, a delicate fruitiness, subtle vanilla, a touch of oak sawdust. The smoke and piney peat are dominant, but rather nice.
Taste: Starts with vanilla, green apples, a sweet citric lemon, and pine needles – or at least what I think tasting pine needles would be like – tart, sharp menthol, maybe a touch bitter. Again, like Special:06, this has nice oily viscosity. Soft tannins. And all with a constant, underlying piney smoke/campfire smokiness.
Finish: Sweet vanilla, toffee apple, lemon rind, a soft earthy minerality, and the piney smokey peat.
Overall: This is another very nice whisky experience provided by Mackmyra. Svensk Rök is well-balanced with fruits and soft vanilla notes, and its very distinct, unique peatiness. As I know, now, the notes I picked up come from the Juniper in the kiln. This aroma/flavor has really come out in this whisky and, like with a campfire made with pine logs, that evergreen smell is both refreshing and pleasing in this whisky. This is not a heavyweight Islay peaty bruiser, but rather a more delicate, peaty whisky that ,for me, is now indelibly Swedish!
Distillery: Mackmyra, Sweden
Type: Single Malt Whisky
Age: NAS (released 2013)
Maturation:Swedish Oak casks
Availability: Sold Out
Sample Source: Mark H.
Malt Whisky Yearbook 2014, Ingvar Ronde, MagDig Media, Ltd.