lördag 20 maj 2017

Swedish Whisky from Hven – Alioth 45% ABV

Friends and followers alike! Today is World Whisky Day and what better way for me as a swedish blogger to celebrate this than to review a swedish whisky?! This time around it's time for the latest release from swedish Hven Distillery, I received this very nice and good looking sample bottle a couple of weeks ago and now it's finally the right time to try it. In fact, I am very glad to have been invited to the release event on site, but very sad not to be able to go (unfortunately it's hard for me to make it on a week day...). Anyways, the name of this whisky is Alioth, that's right, you guessed it, it is the fifth release (and star) in the series drawing its inspiration from the constellation called "The Big Dipper"!



The press-release that I received contained info on the recipe, please feel free to read it in the photo below:

Alioth is still available at a number of swedish monopoly stores and you can view it by clicking here. Ok, let's see what we have here!

Nose:
Peat is definitely in the foreground here! The level of peating seems to me to be slightly above medium. Connected to the peat is also black pepper, slightly burnt wood/burnt log of wood, and also some green and damp moss. That is, very forest-y in style. Above the peat and forest layer is a very evident freshly squeezed lemon juice mixed with a sligth touch of pinneaple juice, brown/dark sugar and grain. Surrounding all of this, in the distance, is on the one hand cold coffee with lots of milk in it and on the othe hand we have a very soft vanilla (the kind of vanilla that is in the swedish candy ”sugar cubes”). Ok, let’s move on to the taste!


Taste:
Oh, so incredibly soft and smooth! Also quite sweet actually. I did not expect that at all (given the evident peat I thought this was gonna be quite peat-y and quite salty…). Lots of vanilla, lots of fudge, a hand or to of the cold coffee with lots of milk. And as noted, quite sweet and sugar-y indeed, but this time a mix of white and dark sugar. Interestingly enough, the burnt wood stuff from the nose is also on the taste but it moves quickly (1-2 seconds) into medium salt liquorice. The peat does not show itself until after all of this, that is, in the very end of the aftertaste. After the peat has settled down some oatmeal porridge developes together with evolvment of more fudge and vanilla

To sum up
This is a very interesting dram, and when I say ”interesting” I don’t mean odd or ordinary; what makes it interesting is rather that what I expect from the nose does not really show itself as I had thought it would on the taste, to me that is interesting and quite rare. Besides this fact it is also very smooth, soft and sweet and alos very well balanced. The taste comes thorugh perfect on this strength and I would not want a higher ABV. A great everyday dram but with an extra little oumph when the peat kicks in at the end. Thumbs up!


Big thanks and Sláinte to the people at Hven Distilley for the opportunity to taste this whisky before being released! Sláinte! Please make sure to follow my FB-page by clicking here, my twitter-page by clicking here, and my instagram by clicking here. Copyright © and All Rights Reserved on all tasting notes and text by SamuelWhisky and pictures likewise belong to SamuelWhisky, unless stated. If you would like to use any such material that belongs to SamuelWhisky or associated with SamuelWhisky, please ask by sending me an email to samuelkarlssonorebro[at]gmail.com

måndag 1 maj 2017

Swedish Whisky bottled by Bergslagens Distillery – Sherry Darling Lightly Peated 5yo 58% ABV

Dear friends and followers alike! Once again I was fortunate enough to receive a package from the people at Bergslagens Distillery. This time the label states: "Sherry Darling Aged 5 years sherry casks lightly peated". This is the second release in a series of three (please feel free to read my thoughts on the first release in the series here). 

Just as I wrote in the post of the first release in this series, and as you all know by now, this whisky has not been produced or distilled by Bergslagen Distillery but it was distilled at the (now closed) Grythyttan Distillery. This is in other words an independent bottling by Bergslagens Distillery. 






The pressrelease states: "The Whisky has been matured in a number of 50 litre [sherry]casks for five years". Well people, that was kind of secretive wasn't it?! Once again, sadly, there is no mention either of type of sherry (but I'm guessing Oloroso) or of what kind of oak (european or american). Also no mention of exact number of casks. The pressrelease does state that the 58% ABV is cask strength (but I wonder, is it rather not vatting strength we are dealing with here, and watered to that exakt ABV?). Maybe, sometime in the near future, Bergslagens Distillery can share some more precise info on these details as Smögen Distillery and Box Distillery usually do. 

However, to my immense joy, and to your satisfaction, I happen to know that "lightly peated" in the context of whisky produced at Grythyttan Distillery in fact means 15 ppm. With that said, this release will be available tomorrow (tuesday the 2nd of May) in three of the state monopoly stores located in the swedish town of Örebro. It will also be available to order via the order-assortment. In total, 840 bottles will be available. Ok, let's see what we have this time around! 

Nose:
Not at all an extreme sherrybomb this time (compared to the unpeated sherry darling that I have as a reference, as you can see from the pic below). Although there is a lot of sherry influence going on here it is somehow subdued. Instead of the extreme raisins that we had in the unpeated sherry darling, we have in this lightly peated version something mould-y going on, the mould on brie cheese. We also have medium ashy-y vanilla, the peel of sunwarm red gooseberries and a slight touch, just a tad, of very earthy peat. Yes, earth (soil), and sugar coated dried figs. Also, this ligtly peated version is calmer on the alcohol; I can without any problem at all take a deep, deep breath with my nose without feeling any alcohol at all! Now that’s just wonderful! There is also a sweetness in this one that is very, very mouthwatering, maybe something like freshly squeezed orange juice with lots and lots of white sugar in it (the emphasis is definitely on sugar), well, that’s it, now I just have to have a taste!

Taste:
At first everything is so sweet (syrup) and i-n-c-r-e-d-i-b-l-y smooth, so smooth! When swallowing, everything gets medium dry very fast. Than an explosion of flavours occurs; it literally screams of vanilla leather, medium dry milkchocolate, cold-brewed coffee, sugardrenched dried figs springled with freshly squeezed sugared lime juice and finally some wonderful peat! Very big on the flavours, meaning that a lot is going on, but not at all overwhelming. Rather more-ish (”I want more!”), and the best thing is the peat, it is in perfect balance with all the sherry-stuff going on here, wow! 
pic borrowed from systembolaget
To sum up:
For me, this is a lot better than the unpeated version. This one is a sherry bomb but not an extreme one. The peating-level sure is perfect for this amount of sherry influence. Ok people, hold on, because taste-wise this is by far the best sherry matured swedish whisky I have tasted so far! And, I realised it the second at which I swallowed and felt the explosion of flavours, mmm… Big congrats to the people at Bergslagens Distillery for closing this deal and big thanks for the opportunity to taste it before being released! Sláinte! 

Please make sure to follow my FB-page by clicking here, my twitter-page by clicking here, and my instagram by clicking here. Copyright © and All Rights Reserved on all tasting notes and text by SamuelWhisky and pictures likewise belong to SamuelWhisky, unless stated. If you would like to use any such material that belongs to SamuelWhisky or associated with SamuelWhisky, please ask by sending me an email to samuelkarlssonorebro[at]gmail.com

pic belongs to/copyright Bergslagens Distillery

tisdag 18 april 2017

Springbank 11 yo – Local Barley 53,1% ABV

Dear friends and followers alike, a couple of weeks ago I received a package of different samples from the nice people of Symposion! The sample that I will share my notes on with you all is Springbank "Local Barley". But first some info on Springbank Distillery. From the handout/info I received I read:

"There are a few Scottish distilleries that still malt their own barley but Springbank is the only distillery which malts 100% of its own barley, using the traditional floor maltings. The whole production process: malting, milling, mashing, fermentation, distillation, maturation and bottling, happens on the one site in Campbeltown. This is unique in Scotland"

Given these facts, maybe it is in order to label Springbank as one of the few remaining "craft"-distilleries? Now, regarding this particular expression of Springbank, besides the obvious fact that "Local Barley" has been produced using only barley that has been grown locally around Campbeltown, the handout/info states that 9000 bottles have been produced for this batch, that the (vatting) strength is 53,1% ABV and the casks used are 100% bourbon. However it does not 
state what kind of bourbon casks (in terms of size and filling). That would be nice to know. 

Anyways, here in Sweden the Springbank "Local Barley" will be available at the state monopoly the day after tomorrow (the 20th of april) and you can view it by clicking here. Ok, lets do some nosing and tasting and see what we have!


Nose:
Big, fat and rich of vanilla-stuff, in fact the nose is very creamy indeed, smells yummie! The peat is definitely evident but in a kind of subdued way, presetin itself kind of like creamy ashes, there is also something ”green” about the peat, in one part sort of sea-ish (wet seaweed/tang) and in the other part something woods-y. The woods-y stuff is the most dominant. In the middle of these two layers (the vanilla/cream and the peat) is some kind of fruit, overripe pear comes to mind along whith some fruity candy, maybe orange colored bassets or swedish peach candy, in fact it’s almost as if this candy (whichever candy it is) has been dipped in white chocolate… nice!

Taste:
That’s a really cool start! It starts off with medium-salt-y peat, the peat is very chewable and more-ish. Instantly when I have swallowed, along comes that peach candy but it transforms very fast into candied lemon. In the early aftertaste a quick buzz of medium strong alcohol, then the peat comes through in the form of creamy ashes. I the late aftertaste everything goes over into some kind of medium burnt vanilla and burnt creamyness.

To sum up
The thing that strikes me with this dram (apart from the fact that it is a very drinkable one) is that the nose is so much more complex than the taste; most of the things going on in this dram happens on the nose and for some reason I had expected it to be the other way around. What I mean by this is firstly that Springbank is usually a quite big and robust whisky indeed (although its 10-15ppm), and secondly given the fact that this particular expression holds 53,1% ABV, could both be expected to result in a quite explosive dram. On the other hand, this does not mean that it is a boring whisky, it could mean that the blender at Springbank has deliberatly choosen very creamy casks resulting in a very calm taste. Nontheless, a very drinkable dram and a very interesting experience indeed. 

Big thanks to the nice people at Symposion for sharing a sample of this whisky and for the opportunity to review and try it before the release! Sláinte! Please make sure to follow my FB-page by clicking here, my twitter-page by clicking here, and my instagram by clicking here. Copyright © and All Rights Reserved on all tasting notes and text by SamuelWhisky and pictures likewise belong to SamuelWhisky, unless stated. If you would like to use any such material that belongs to SamuelWhisky or associated with SamuelWhisky, please ask by sending me an email to samuelkarlssonorebro[at]gmail.com

Picture/copyright belongs to Symposion

tisdag 4 april 2017

Swedish whisky from Box Distillery – 2nd Step Collection 03 51,3% ABV

Dear friends and followers! Today I received a sample from the nice people at Box Distillery, so once again it is time for me to share my thoughts on yet another swedish whisky! The sample contains the concluding and third part in their series entitled 2nd Step Collection. The information I have received states that the whisky has been predominantly matured in first fill bourbon casks, in fact 76% of the whisky has been matured in first fill bourbon casks. 19% has been matured in american virgin oak and finally 5% in virgin hungarian oak. The peating level is 38,6 ppm on average. For those of you interested in all the details of this particular bottling, Box Distillery has been kind enough to provide them here

Here in Sweden, this whisky will be released on the state monopoly the day after tomorrow (6th of april), 4000 bottles (out of 8291) will be available and you can view the product here 

Nose:
When pouring a dram from the sample, a beautiful and soft peatiness spreads throughout the room. When putting my nose towards the glass and softly breathing in I pick up a soft but very evident note of fir/christmas tree. Intermingling with that note is wall fern/polypody and beyond that is just a slight touch of building timbre. Given the fact that the majority of the whisky has been matured in first fill bourbon casks I had expetected there to be a quite big presence of vanilla, however that is not really the case, the thing in focus here is rather first of all the fir and second of all the building timbre. Trying to move beyond that layer I do spot some gentle peat and some kind of medium-salty saltyness so to speak, some kind of quite salty liquorice, maybe it’s the wall fern/polypody that pops up again? Anyways, all in all on the nose it’s a quite ”simple” dram we’ve got here with maybe three to four basic fragrances going on. So nothing is really popping out or ”disturbing”, everything is very well integrated. Ok, let’s see what we have on the taste


Taste:
Mmm, great whisky! As is mostly the case with peated Box matured predominatly in bourbon casks, everything starts off with a delicate mix of salt and sweet. But then, it quickly moves on into more salt. I swallow, and then comes at first even more salt, but very fast it moves on into quite intense peatyness, slowly moving on into whipped cream without added sugar, and then boom (!), there’s the vanilla (I’m glad you’re here because I love you very much). Then, in the aftertaste (and this is the greatness of this dram), the peat evolves more, and more, and more. Beautiful. It’s not a very dry peatyness, rather medium dry (or maybe not even medium dry), but I experience it as quite dry and that is due to the fact that the peat just goes on and on and on. Taking another sip, just after the initial salt I discover some kind of exotic fruit, I can’t really put my finger on it but is might be some kind of melon… or even soft guava… interesting. In the very last phase of the aftertaste the peat gives way to the soft vanilla which becomes more and more evident, slowly fading away

To sum up
It strikes me now that this is in fact a very mature expression of Box, maybe even the most mature Box I’ve ever tried. There are no traces of yeast or new make going on here, neither on the nose nor on the taste. And of course I knew on beforehand that this is the oldest whisky from Box Distillery yet to be released, and that might subconsiously affect my feeling that it’s the most mature Box yet. So let me phrase is another way, this expression and the components that have gone in to it are very, very, very well blended together. Great job fellas!

Big thanks to the nice people at Box Distillery for sharing a sample of this whisky and for the opportunity to review and try it before the release! Sláinte! Please make sure to follow my FB-page by clicking here, my twitter-page by clicking here, and my instagram by clicking here. Copyright © and All Rights Reserved on all tasting notes and text by SamuelWhisky and pictures likewise belong to SamuelWhisky, unless stated. If you would like to use any such material that belongs to SamuelWhisky or associated with SamuelWhisky, please ask by sending me an email to samuelkarlssonorebro[at]gmail.com
pic/copyright belongs to Box Distillery

måndag 27 februari 2017

Swedish Whisky bottled by Bergslagens Distillery – Sherry Darling 5yo 58% ABV

Dear friends and followers! To my immense joy, I received a package last friday which turned out to contain a sample from Bergslagens Distillery! The label declares "Sherry Darling Aged 5 years, sherry casks". This is the first release in a series of three (the other two being "Sherry Darling lightly Peated" and "Sherry Darling Peated").













The pressrelease that I received states that this first release has been produced by blending circa/roughly ten 50 litre sherry casks together. There is no mention either of type of sherry (but I'm guessing Oloroso) or of what kind of oak (european or american). Anyways, the pressrelease does state that the 58% ABV is cask strength (but I wonder, is it rather not batting strength we are dealing with here, and watered to that exakt ABV?).

Now, this whisky has not been produced or distilled by Bergslagen Distillery but it was distilled at the (now closed) Grythyttan Distillery. You see, a while ago the people at Bergslagen Distillery purchased all of the stock produced at Grythyttan. So, this whisky should rightly be viewed as an independent bottling, which the label also states. Great! 

This bottling will be available this wednesday (the first of March) in the four state monopoly stores located in the town of Örebro. It will also be available to order via the order-assortment. Each of the stores in Örebro will have 36 bottles and via the order-assortment there is around 500 bottles available. Ok, let's see what we have here! 
picture/copyright belongs to Bergslagen Distillery

Nose:
The first thing that springs to mind is an extreme presence of dark raisins, believe me, it really is extreme. This is a real sherrybomb in the true sense of the word! The dark raisins are in some way not really fully dried raisins, but rather like some kind of mix of raisins and half-dried dark red grapes… Something else on the nose? Of course, there is heavy leather (almost moving into sweat-y old leather shoes) something burnt, maybe even burnt leather. Besides that, there is some extremely citric stuff going on in the top layer, maybe green kiwi mixed with freshly squeezed lemon juice? But overall, the nose screams dark raisins… This is quite young whisky, so are there any traces of that on the nose? Nope, no alcohol sting, no signs of new make, there isn’t even anything yeast-y or bakers yeast going on here… very, very intriguing indeed! Ok, let’s have a sip 


Taste:
Oooh! That, is, intense! And dry, very dry, oak-y dry. A heavy mix of dry and dried dark raisins, the leather is definietely there together with large amounts of some really strong-brewed coffee, and big amounts of oak. Wow… also, the first sip makes me wonder if the liquid I'm enjoying is heavy sherry, whisky infused sherry, or just an extreme sherry bomb… the line between these three types or alternatives is definitely hard to tell in this case. There is also a big touch of alcohol going on here (a punch-in-the-face-whisky), but still it does not seem young in charachter (no signs of new make and nothing yeast-y). Is there ”too much” oak? Well, let me put it this way, if the whisky had spent any more time in the casks it might have toppled over indeeed. 

Some water perhaps? Just 5-6 drops to see what happens with the nose:
Not that intense on the raisins any more, but the kiwi and lemon juice really did step up. The burnt leather was also enhanced and is now at the center of attention. Even some sweet liqorice… nice! 

How did the water impact the taste? Well, it becomes mellow on the raisins and the leather, almost everything calms down. Lemon infused medium dark milk chocolate comes to the center of attention, and, the taste becomes really, really spicy, it almost stings my tongue actually! Also, coffe and sweet tobacco/cigarillos comes to the front together with white chocolate… interesting! Can this whisky take more water? I’m absolutely sure it can, but you have to buy one and try it for yourselves. I think it was better, and most of all, more extreme without water, and the extreme is what I like about this whisky!

Big thanks to the nice people at Bergslagens Distillery for sharing a sample of this great and interesting whisky and for the opportunity to review and try it before the release! Sláinte! Please make sure to follow my FB-page by clicking here, my twitter-page by clicking here, and my instagram by clicking here. Copyright © and All Rights Reserved on all tasting notes and text by SamuelWhisky and pictures likewise belong to SamuelWhisky, unless stated. If you would like to use any such material that belongs to SamuelWhisky or associated with SamuelWhisky, please ask by sending me an email to samuelkarlssonorebro[at]gmail.com

tisdag 14 februari 2017

Swedish Whisky from Smögen – Triple 5 yo 54% ABV

Dear friends and followers! About one and a half week ago, I spent my time working for Edrington at the Linköping Whiskyexpo which was great fun as usual. What was also very fun was that I passed by the stand of swedish west coast distillery Smögen to have a quick chat with the distillery manager/master distiller Pär Caldenby. So what was the purpose with the quick chat? Well, it was of course to see if Pär had anything special up his sleeve for me to review! So, did he? Oh yes indeed, I was very lucky to collect a sample of the coming release called "Triple"! 🙂











So, what is so special about this coming release? Well, it's a release of the (so far) only triple distilled whisky from Smögen! On the label below it is described as being "intended as an experiment". The whisky is 5 years (and nine months) old and has been fully matured in two Sauternes Barriques (European oak, 228 litres each). The cask numbers are 5/2011 and 6/2011. The malt is heavily peated, in this case meaning slightly above 50ppm.  The new make was filled in March 2011 and the whisky was bottled in January 2017. The two casks gave 882 bottles out of which 696 will be available at the swedish state monopoly by web-release, this thursday (the 16th of february) 10 o'clock (view the product here). 
The info and the words of Pär about "Triple"
But hey, we need some more info right? So, with the hope of gaining some more info on this particular bottling, likewise to be able to share this very exclusive info with you my fellow friends and followers, I sent an email to Pär with a couple of questions. You will find his answers in italics:

1). When you double distill, what is the ABV of the new make coming out of the spirit still? 
The heart of the spirit run is roughly 70% ABV, in winter slightly higher.

2). When you triple distill, what is then the ABV of the new make coming out of the spirit still?
For the triple distillation (...) the heart is closer to 75% ABV

3). To what ABV did you water this triple distilled new make before filling? 
The watering at filling was to around 70% ABV. Also, this batch is watered also at bottling [from the cask strength 66% ABV, to 54% ABV]. It is great at 54% ABV, even if it does stand just a little more water if one prefers that.  

4). Is this the only time you've done triple distillation, or is there more of this stuff maturing in the warehouse as we speak? 
These were the only two casks containing triple distilled whisky. I'm thinking about triple distilling again.

5). The two sauternes barriques used for this bottling, are they "fresh"/first fill, as was the case for single cask 7/2011, or is it second fill? I came to think of this when I discovered that the "Triple" is slightly lighter in color than the SC 7/2011 
The sauternes barriques used are first fill/fresh, but with a light toasting level, while SC 7/2011 was medium plus toasting level. [The toasting level] makes a huge difference. 




Ok folks, now we know a lot more, so let's see what we have here

Nose:
Very fat and big! Boasting of first and foremost whipped full fat cream, dark vanilla fudge almost even chocolate fudge, dark sugar moving into light swedish baking syrup (treacle/molasses?). All of these things are in the first or main ”layer”. There is even a tad of cold coffee in there. All these things are almost inseparable, tightly clinging together to one another and really hard to tell a part. As far as the second layer is concerned there is just a tad of baking yeast and something reminding me of the peel from swedish Ingrid Marie (red winter) apples. (Damn, now I can’t stop thinking about cinnamon, cardamom and vanilla custard…). The peat? Well, it’s very, very chocolate-y in style but also sort of having a barbecue in the woods. Wow, this sure is a complex dram… everything is extremely well integrated... Ok, let’s have a sip!

Taste:
Salt and dark sugar begins and they are completely inseparable! So is all of the earthy peat and the light milk chocolate that follows, also the very, very soft vanilla cream. Everything blends together in a really fascinating way, wow… When swallowing, a gently dry peat evolves together with even more milk chocolate. There is also actually, interestingly enough the red apples from the nose, but not peel this time, rather ovenbaked apple pulp or flesh. At the start of the aftertaste, with my mouth closed, the light alcohol ”rises” in my mouth, moving towards my ”upper mouth” (the pharynx), then follows the baking syrup. For a while, in the late aftertaste, everything gets more and more thick and meaty, or rather chew-y, yes very chewable. 

To sum up:
This dram is very comlex and most of all, everything is so well integrated. I can’t think of any scent, any flavour, or any of all the elements going on here that does not cling together or intermingle with one another. To try to describe this in another way, I can only come to think of one word and that word is, mature. Yes, this is a mature whisky, and an extremly enjoyable one, both when it comes to the nose and the taste. Now, I am well aware that I’ve drawn this conclusion many a times when I’ve tasted the different releases and expressions from Smögen, but this time it is even more so! To me, this whisky seems way older than five years and nine months. And, the triple distillation style works and fits perfectly with the ”house style” of Smögen, so smooth and so soft yet so full and fat… Nice!

Big thanks to Pär for sharing a sample of "Triple" and for the opportunity to review and try it before the release! Sláinte! Please make sure to follow my FB-page by clicking here, my twitter-page by clicking here, and my instagram by clicking here. Copyright © and All Rights Reserved on all tasting notes and text by SamuelWhisky and pictures likewise belong to SamuelWhisky, unless stated. If you would like to use any such material that belongs to SamuelWhisky or associated with SamuelWhisky, please ask by sending me an email to samuelkarlssonorebro[at]gmail.com

picture/copyright belongs to Smögen Distillery

torsdag 9 februari 2017

Highland Park – FIRE 15yo 45,2% ABV

Friends and followers! Last weekend I had the great pleasure to once again work the Linköping Whiskyexpo for Edrington. This means taking care of Highland Park (among many other great whiskies in the Edrington portfolio). The first thing I noticed when I arrived to the festival was that we had Highland Park FIRE in the stand! Now, since FIRE has not yet been launched and released here in Sweden, working at the festival was a great opportunity for me to try it before the release. And of course I grasped that opportunity, and I'm very thankful that the nice people of Edrington let me :)

FIRE will be available on the swedish state monopoly on Friday the 17th of February (1331 bottles, and you can view it here). 



Just as ICE is a very special expression of Highland Park (read my post on ICE here), so is FIRE. What is special about it? Well you see, FIRE has been fully matured in refill Port wine seasoned casks and Highland Park has to my knowledge never released a whisky matured in casks that previously held port wine. Adding to that, during the festival I spoke to Martin Markvardsen about the maturation process of FIRE, and if I understood Martin correctly (and if I remember correctly), the whisky has first spent 13 years in port pipes and was then transferred to port hogsheads for a final 2 years of maturation. 

For info on the concept and idea behind HP FIRE, please do check out this great video, where Martin shares the story of FIRE. Ok! Let's see what we have here! 

Nose:
When opening the bottle and nosing, the first thing that comes to mind is actually something a bit ”burnt”, sort of. Maybe something like burnt dark raisins intermingling with peat. Pouring a dram into the glass and nosing from a distant (ten centimeters or so) I first get a very slight and soft touch of oranges, not really orange juice, rather orange peel (you know the way your fingers smell when you’ve peeled an orange?). There’s even some light milk chocolate with a scent of oranges. Also there is light liquid honey, a honey that is quite summer-y and flower-y, very nice and soft… But wait, there are more fruits in there, overripe yellow kiwi and something reminding me of… is it peach candy or is it mango? Anyways, moving closer so that I have my nose in the glass I first get a whiff of medium strong alcohol, surrounding that is that slightly ”burnt” note again, but this time something like burnt sugar rather than burnt dark raisins. Nosing even deeper into the glass, interestingly enough I do pick up sweet liquorice candy! At the same time, there is also something salt-y going on here. So, even though the nose all in all is complex it’s also very ”calm” if you know what I mean? The only thing on the nose that pops out from the general fruity-ness, honey stuff and burnt raisins and the burnt sugar, is that peedie bit of medium strong alcohol, meaning, it smells just a bit ”strong” although it is only 45,2% ABV. Okey, moving on to the taste!

Martin to the left, SamuelWhisky to the right
Taste:
Wow! First, it starts off on light liquid honey, but then, Boom! Everything goes very salt-y! Sea salt in fact, also of course a fist full of heather-honey-peat, and that’s with an emphasis on peat. Now, this first part of the taste is initial and quite fast, say 2-3 seconds. After that, when swallowing, it moves very quickly into bicycle inner-tube, some kind of vegetal and/or herbal feeling intermingling with rubber/”plastic” and metallic notes, in turn intermingling with peat. In the early aftertaste, the bicycle inner-tube thingy and the vegetal/herbal stuff, moves on (within a time period of 5 seconds or so) into a mix of heavy almond paste, and even more vegetal/herbal stuff… In the late aftertaste a sort of distant creamy-ness together with ashy peat becomes more and more apparent, finally becoming the center of attention together with someting like the kind of ”mould” that is on brie cheese. In terms of texture the aftertaste can be described as being lightly dry (not heavy dry, not medium dry, but lightly dry). From swallowing, the length of the dram is about one minute long but it starts to fade  softly after thirty seconds or so. 

To sum up:
So, what’s the most interesting and good thing about this dram? 
1). For me, something that makes a dram interesting and intriguing is the quality/characteristic that the nose is basically completely different from the taste, meaning for instance that none of the fruity stuff on the nose is there on the taste. 
2). Both the nose and the taste is very complex, and complex in different ways. 
3). The move by HP to mature in a type of casks and seasoning it has never before done is absoutely brilliant which makes both the nose and most of all the taste very hard to anticipate.

How is the concept of ”FIRE” visible or obvious on the nose and the taste?
On the nose we have the peedie bit of medium strong alcohol but most of all the burnt raisins and the burnt sugar. On the taste everyhing signals ”FIRE”, apart from the honey and the creamy-ness as well as the brie type ”mould”.

Could there have been even more ”FIRE”?
Yes, but I think that it would have to entail first of all a higher strength and second of all the use of first fill port casks. 

Is this a good whisky? Yes, definitely. Why? Well first of all, the fruity stuff on the nose is absolutely beautiful! And second, you will never have tasted a HP such as this one, and you will very seldom come upon a nose and taste so different from each other than it is in this dram

pic borrowed from/belongs to systembolaget.se
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