tisdag 1 maj 2018

Swedish Whisky bottled by Bergslagens Distillery – Sherry Darling Ferie 6yo 46% ABV!

Dear friends, supporters and followers alike! A couple of days ago I was very fortunate to once again receive a sample from the people at Bergslagens Distillery! This time around the label states "Sherry Darling Ferie aged 6 years". This means that this is the fourth release in the "Sherry Darling"-series. 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. 

As you might remember from my previous reviews of whisky sold by Bergslagens Distillery, I have been complaining about lack of information in the press releases. 


But now my dear friends it seems that my complaining has finally payed off! This time we actually do have info on origin of the casks used and origin of the sherry used, yay! The whisky has been matured for 6 years in 50 litre sherry casks made from american (white) oak. The Oloroso sherry is from the Cádiz province of Andalusia in southern Spain. Unfortunately the pressrelease does not state if it is 1st-fill, 2nd-fill etcetera. Nor does it state number of casks used and number of bottles released and/or produced. The whisky has been bottled at 46% ABV and will be released at the swedish state monopoly tomorrow (the 2nd of May) and you can view it by clicking here. Ok, let's see what we have here!

Nose:
A very creamy, broad, and dry style of sherrynotes in this one. There is a medium big vanilla, traces of salt liquorice, and interestingly enough for being a sherrymatured whisky there are evident traces of spruce/fir (usually I only find this in whisky matured in new swedish oak). Actually, there are very, very slight traces of peat lurking around somewhere in here. Also very, very slight traces of gun powder (some of you may refer to this as sulphur). Last but not least definitely something reminding me of very lightly hopped lager beer. The strength is perfectly balanced against the nose! 


Taste:
Starts of rather sweet on raw-sugar syrup infused with dried figs and sugar coated medium dark raisins. After that comes a distinct touch of dry oloroso but most of all caramelized almond paste. This then moves on into a semi-explosion of more dryness that actually evolves into a very, very light touch of peat (!), slowly evolving into gun powder and ending with marzipan and sweet liquorice. 

To sum up:
So, was 46% ABV a sucessful move? Well, as mentioned above the strength is definitely perfectly balanced against the nose. I do however find the taste just a bit ”light”; slightly lacking a bit of body and/or depth, but all in all this is in no way and issue. What we have here folks is all in all a very drinkable and well composed sherry matured whisky and I do believe that it will be a perfect everyday dram for the mellow swedish summer! Sláinte!

Big thanks to the guys at Bergslagen Distillery for the opportunity to try this release and for the opportunity to be able to review it before its release! Please make sure to follow my FB-page by clicking here, my instagram by clicking here, and my twitter-page 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 an email to samuelkarlssonorebro [at] gmail dot com and by stating the source

Picture borrowed from systembolaget.se

lördag 21 april 2018

Selected Malts – Royal Brackla sherry finish 55,5% ABV!

Dear friends, followers and supporters alike! A couple of days I received a package from my two good friends Patrik and Mikael, the founders of the all new swedish independent bottler named Selected Malts! To my great joy the package contained their second bottling, wiihooo! 















This time around we are talking about a Royal Brackla that has first been matured in a single bourbon hogshead and then transferred for a final maturation/finish in two 128 litre european oak 1st-fill oloroso sherry quarter casks. The whisky was bottled at cask strength, no filtration and likewise no coloring was done! The casks gave 397 bottles. This whisky will be released at the swedish state monopoly this monday (23:rd of April) through the "order-assortment". You can view the whisky by clicking here. Ok folks, let's see what we have here!

Nose:
The first thing that strikes me is that this whisky is very vinous (red wine), actually almost drawing towards a slight touch of (red) glühwein spices. Above that layer I find very delicate notes of peach candy together with a very mellow, but quite thin, vanilla. Shaking the whisky vividly to stir up some more notes/scents I actually get something reminding me of port wine. The whisky calms down after the stir and now I discover ripe fresh rhubarb that intermingles perfectly with the peach and the vanilla. All in all the notes on the nose is like a fight between the bourbon hogshead and the oloroso quarter casks, between vanilla and the vinous stuff. Very interesting! Ok, what about the taste?!

Borrowed from Selected Malts
Taste:
Fascinating! It actually starts of quite salt-y, I did not expect that at all! Before the salt, for a split second, there is however some very mellow and rich vanilla, but then comes the salt and after just two seconds or so I realise that the salt is clearly infused with ”sour” raisins (perhaps better described as red grapes on their way of becoming raisins). Intermingling with the strange grapes are definitely freshly squeezed rhubarb juice (if there ever was such a thing…). However, all of these rapid tastes mellows down rather quickly and gives way to an absolutely beautiful mix of almond paste and/or marzipan coupled with a big vanilla. In the aftertaste there are still traces of the salt-y beginning, but most of all the aftertaste is dry, dry, and dry, with traces of fresh ginger. The aftertaste ends with ”vapours” of almond paste rising to the roof of my mouth together with leather-y vanilla. 

To sum up:
On the nose this whisky does not at all behave like a standard/classic sherry finish would (with raisins and figs etcetera), rather the sherry behaves like red wine and the nose is therefore quite confusing with it’s fight between the two types of casks involved. The great thing about the taste is that it opens up on salt and then moves into the mellow and rich vanilla. Also, the taste really evolves in my mouth, a true journey of flavours! A job well done selecting this whisky (with it’s unusual elements on both nose and taste), so that the whisky nerds in Sweden can taste something truly different. Sláinte!

Big thanks to the guys at Selected Malt for the opportunity to try their second release and for the opportunity to be able to review it before its release! Please make sure to follow my FB-page by clicking here, my instagram by clicking here, and my twitter-page 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 dot com and by stating the source

Borrowed from Selected Malts

onsdag 18 april 2018

The Macallan – Limited Edition 2017 – Classic Cut 58,4% ABV!

Dear friends, followers and supporters alike! When working the beer and whiskyfestival in Gothenburg (for Edrington) about two weeks ago, I gladly noticed that we had a new expression of The Macallan with us in the stand! The name of this new Macallan is ”Classic Cut”. Being very lucky indeed I was allowed to draw a small sample for reviewing, so today I share with you my thoughts and impressions of it!

So, what do we know about this new expression of Macallan? First of all we know that it has been bottled at 58,4% ABV. This fact, taken together with the design and colour of the label and the box suggests that the distillery and branding department wants us to associate this release to their previsous cask strength bottlings (which have both been bottled as 10 years old and more recently as NAS). Also, taking a look at the distillery website it is clear that the whisky has been bottled at natural colour and that it has been matured in a combination of American and European ”oak casks seasoned with Oloroso sherry from Jerez, Spain”. 

What is however not known to the consumers is if the casks used are 1st-fill, 2nd-fill etcetera, nor what the size(es) of the casks used are. In addition it is not known to consumers if the strength is in fact proper cask strength, or vatting strength, or if the strength has been reached by dillution (by watering it to this specific strength). 


From the distillery website we also know that this edition of Classic Cut is a Limited Edition for 2017. So what does ”limited” mean in this case? First of all, from surfing the web I have found sources who state that the number of bottles are limited to 90000 world wide. I have also found sources who state that Classic Cut is a one-off, never to be repeated again

In order to try and find out in what way this truly is a limited edition, I contacted my good friend Mattias Skoog, the Nordic Brand Ambassador for The Macallan (and for Highland Park). He told me that there in fact will be a Classic Cut 2018, another Classic Cut in 2019, and (probably) so on! So what does all this talk of one-off, never to be repeated again really mean? Well, Mattias was also kind enough to send me a document (a so called Sell Sheet) which holds info that shines a light on this question. The document states: ”This special and memorable flavour profile will never be repeated” and ”…this particular whisky profile will never be repeated”. Aha, it is the profile that will never be repeated again! And what is the flavour profile in question? Well, the box clearly states ”Creamy vanilla, sweet ginger, warming oak”, which I interpret to be the flavor profile for this version of CC.

In conclusion, this most likely means that the next CC (2018) will have another flavour profile, so will also the next CC haveThis probably means that the composition of casks used will vary from edition to edition. All of this makes it clear what, on the distillery website, is meant by the statement that this edition of Classic Cut is the first release in ”a [new] series of annual expressions”.

Borrowed from robbreport.com
Here in Sweden, the CC 2017 will be available this Friday (20th of April) at the state monopoly and you can view it by clicking here. Ok, now that we have sorted out all of the details, let’s investigate the whisky itself!

Nose:
Holding the glass a couple of centimetres from my nose, I get really mellow medium-dark moist raisins with elements of lightly vanilla-infused honey, definitely coupled with cacao (drawing towards a bar of milk chocolate). There is also very slight traces of cold coffee. At this distance everything is soo soft, and it is not until I put my nose in the glass that I actually feel the high strength. Nosing some more with my nose really in the glass, in the very top layer of the nose I get a prominent mix of sweet and sour drawing very close to mashed red grapes. Below this layer I find sugar zyrup made from raw-sugar, together with quite fat vanilla (medium-dark fudge). Below that, in the bottom layer, I get very slight traces of oven-baked slices of apple, intermingling with medium-dark marzipan.

Taste:
Taking a tiny sip it all starts of soo sweet and smooth (which for me is incredible at this strength), the taste is definitely dominated by ”dark” tastes, in fact much darker profile on the taste than on the nose. In the initial sweetness and smoothness I find all the tastes that I expect from a sherry matured non-peated whisky; especially dark raisins and moist dried figs. Aside from that we have drizzling honey, the sugar zyrup made of raw sugar, and even a touch of leather-y notes. It is not until taking a bigger sip that I find a quite robust strength together with a slight layer of almond paste. Then the taste evolves slowly and gets below medium-dry, than even drier, almost drying my mouth now (from something tannin-esque). In the aftertaste I get slight traces of bitter almond intermingling with slight traces of vanilla. 

To sum up:
This whisky definitely tastes as being well and above 10 years old. In terms of recipe my impression is that european oak sherry casks dominate in the mix. I would describe this dram as a ”light” sherry bomb, not because it in any way is ”watery” or wimpish, but because it never gets out of hand or, so to speak, goes crazy; the recipe has obviously been weighed very carefully, I might even say with a great deal of brilliance. Obviously the whisky maker has aimed for drinkability for the big whisky drinking audience, and has indeed managed to achieve just that! All in all a great dram for a good value/price, well done! I really look forward for to the next releases of CC and to find out what their respective flavour profiles will be!

Big thanks to Edrington for the great opportunity to review this whisky before its release! Please make sure to follow my FB-page by clicking here, my instagram by clicking here, and my twitter-page 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 dot com and by stating the source

Borrowed from systembolaget.se

tisdag 10 april 2018

Springbank 12yo Cask Strength vs. Longrow Red 11yo!

Dear friends, followers and supporters alike! A couple of weeks ago I was contacted by swedish importer/distributor Symposion asking me if I was interested in receiving samples for reviewing some of their coming whiskies. On offer was lots of whiskies and as I have done before I only signed up for samples for Springbank Distillery.













Last week a package finally arrived and so today I bring you my review and thoughts on the latest version of Springbank 12 yo Cask Strength, and likewise the latest version of Longrow Red 11yo. Here in Sweden both of these will be launched at the swedish state monopoly the day after tomorrow (the 12th of April), in a so called web-release. The products can be viewed by clicking here and here.

So, in terms of contents/recipe for the respective whiskies it goes like this: The Springbank (around 15ppm) has in this particular case been matured to 70% in sherry casks and the rest in bourbon casks (unfortunately I have received no info on kind of oak for the sherry component, nor filling in terms of 1st-fill, 2nd-fill, etc.). The ABV is 56,3%. Sweden receives 575 bottles (number of bottles produced in total is not stated).

The Longrow (around 55ppm) has in this particular case first spent nine years in bourbon casks (filling not stated), and then two years in french (225 litre) barriques that has previously held  South-african redwine from De Toren Private Cellar in Stellenbosch (filling not stated). The ABV is 55,9%. Sweden receives 612 bottles out of 9000 bottles in total.


Ok, let's do a kind of comparison and see what we have here!

Springbank nose:
Mmm, classic Springbank! Lots of ”warm” and intense, very deep, citric sherrynotes. A great portion of raw-sugar that intermingles seamlessly with the earthy but gentle (kind of leather-y) peaty-ness. Above all, interestingly enough the most prominent things on the nose are stawberry jam, apple sauce and peach candy, all three very delicate and gentle indeed.    

Longrow nose:
The nose on this one is something entirely different from the previous! The very center of the nose boasts of Werther’s creme caramel (intense deep vanilla and melted butter), together with ”old” dark honey (”stiff”/non-liquid honey). In the very upper register there is a wee tad of… Cachaça.  Slight (!!!) traces of peat. There is also a slight, slight, slight touch of very over-ripe pear, but nothing, absolutely nothing makes me think of red wine. The bourbon maturation and white oak has definitely had more impact than the red wine finish and the european oak.   

Springbank taste:
Again, warm and very dry intense sherry! Yes, very dry, but sweet sherry that both makes my mouth dry and makes it water-y. The peatyness is big and definitely warms my chest. This whisky really evolves in my mouth and goes from beautiful raw sugar-y fruity sweetness to a great leather-y dry peatyness (with a big portion of almond paste) that really takes a hold of my mouth. Very ”chewy” aftertaste and my mouth keeps altering between dry and watery. It all ends in some kind of peated overripe banana.

Longrow taste:
Actually, it very briefly starts out on matured Cachaça, everything turns very soft and vanilla- and buttery-ish together with soft milk chocolate but then, thank god, the peatyness shows itself! First as kind of salt liquorice but then as very, very dry and ashy peat (no leather). In the immidiate aftertaste we have something reminding me of elderflower soft drink, but as the aftertaste evolves the peat completely takes the overhand and gets really ashy and beautifully dry. It all ends with a sting to the tip of my tounge and big dryness on the inside of my cheeks

To sum up:
And the winner is… Springbank on the nose and Longrow on the taste! 

Big thanks to Symposion for sending me these samples and for the opportunity to review them before the release! Please make sure to follow my FB-page by clicking here, my instagram by clicking here, and my twitter-page 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 dot com and by stating the source

borrowed from the whisky exchange
borrowed from malt-review.com

tisdag 20 mars 2018

Swedish whisky from Hven Distillery – Mizar 6:1 45% ABV!

Dear friends, supporters and followers alike! On the 28th of February, the swedish distillery Hven held a press-tasting for their latest release. It was great to once again receive an invitation to attend, but very, very sadly I was not able to attend... To my great joy a generous sample of 10cl arrived not that long ago and so today I present to you my notes and thought on this whisky! 

This latest release is the continuation of the series drawing its inspiration from the constellation called "The Big Dipper". 








This time around our eyes are fixed on the star called Mizar. The name of the whisky hence is Mizar, with the addition of 6:1 (the sentences in italics in the quote below explains why :) ). The press-release contains very detailed info on the recipe, as follows: 

"The recipe is 58,8% Lager malt, 35,3% peated malt (38ppm), 5,9% Chocolate malt. The distillate have matured between seven and ten years on; 64,7% Muehlenbergii oak from Missouri, 23,6% Petraea oak from Allier and 11,7% Robur from Bourgogne. The whisky was married on seven Quercus Petraea barriques that previously held Chateau Margaux Premier Grand Cru. An additional seven casks with the same recipe have been kept for further finishing. This whisky will be released in September 2018. The traditional whisky phenols measures to 20ppm, however the contributing phenols from the chateau Margaux casks elevates the total phenols to 32ppm" (source).

Mixar 6:1 is still available at a number of swedish monopoly stores and you can view and order it by clicking here. Ok friends, let's see what we have this time around!

Nose:
Sugar-y sweetness, zyrup, partly resembling the sweetness of some kind of swedish red jelly candy (zoo, boats, or ferrari bilar). Immediately below this sweetness is a grain type of spicyness that is intermingling with what seems to be the spicyness of new swedish oak accompanied by christmas tree, resin on an old spruce, and spicy but sweet vanilla. I detect no peat, no smoke, but there is plenty of candied/burnt sugar. In the very bottom layer (the base) I find roasted sunflower seeds, slightly burnt. All in all, a quite forest-y dram.


Taste:
Starts off on a very, very delicate and well-balanced, oh so soft, peat with very discrete notes of medium-dry oloroso sherry. Also quite spicy and tannin-y in style, with an almost medium body. When swallowing the tannins and the medium dryness increases quite alot and burnt milk chocolate, bicycle inner-tube, and vanilla appears. After that, sadly, the dram turns almost water-y in style (there is so to speak not much body for the taste to rest on) and the tastes that remain is vanilla sweetness and syrup made of raw-sugar cubes. A slightly bitter dryness also remains in the very end of the surpisingly short taste

To sum up:
The start of the nose is very interesting and sort of classic Hven. It’s interesting that I did not detect any peat on the nose. The delicate peat in the taste is absolutely beautiful and well-balanced, as well as the nice hints of (what reminds me of) oloroso sherry. Unfortunately this dram did not take me all the way because of the ”water-y” style and the lack of body. It’s in no way a ”bad” dram but in line with my preferences the whisky could’ve easily spent some more time in the casks. Hopefully Mizar 6.2 will satisfy my preferences! 

Big thanks to Camilla at Hven Distillery for sending me a sample and for the opportunity to review it despite not being able to attend the release! Please make sure to follow my FB-page by clicking here, my instagram by clicking here, and my twitter-page 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 dot com and by stating the source 

tisdag 13 mars 2018

The Creative Whisky Co. – Highland Park Single Cask 52,9% ABV!

Dear friends, followers and supporters alike! When working at this years Whiskyexpo in Linköping a while ago, Tommy and Peter of Svenska Eldvatten (Swedish Firewater) grabbed a hold of me to ask if I would be interested in reviewing one of their future releases, a single cask Highland Park from The Creative Whisky Company in their series The Exclusive Malts. Well, of course I was, and so I was given a sample. 











The cask number is 751, it's a refill (bourbon) hogshead that gave 235 bottles. It was distilled in October 2003 and bottled in 2017, and so the age of the whisky is 14 years old. Svenska Elvatten has managed to bring 55 bottles to the swedish market and you can view and order the product here, starting tomorrow. 

Ok, let's see what we have here!

Nose:
In the very top layer the focus is on mint-something-something (sort of green-ish), not to mention banana-jellycandy. Below that I find some very delicate oranges in combination with milk chocolate, in fact, there is very much going on in the orange-peel-department here people! Even some overripe pears are intruding, trying to get my attention. And of course, below that layer we have some kind of a ”creamy peat” going on, actually very interesting that it’s more cream than peat though. The peat appears to be sort of dry, in fact, almost all elements of the stuff and different scents happening on the nose is dry. Nosing again, the peat has become more evident; but it’s not quite the usual heather honey, rather we are talking an excotic peat, drawing towards summer-y flowers and, yes, cream. Ok, let’s have a taste


Taste:

Wow, that was definitely unexpected! So much peat, very tightly connected with sea-salt (kind of, not coastal, but still). Very quickly the peat evolves and gets bigger and bigger. At this point the peat kind of resembles an ashy peat, in a style reminding me of Connemara/peated Cooley, which has never happened to me before with HP. The peat starts to evolve towards bicycle tube (rubber) but then quickly makes a turn and becomes, what can best be described as, very dry almond paste. Everything gets more and more earthy now, and here we actually have the heather honey! In fact, burnt heather honey, fascinating… When the dryness goes to sleep, slowly the milk chocolate says hi and everything clings off with a soft vanilla fudge that waters my mouth. Wow, that was some journey indeed!

To sum up:
If you like very peaty and very salty HP, you should really try this one folks!

Big thanks to Peter and Tommy for the opportunity to review this release and for the opportunity to be able to review it before the launch! Please make sure to follow my FB-page by clicking here, my instagram by clicking here and my twitter-page 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 dot com and by stating the source 

Copyright belongs to whizita.de

torsdag 1 mars 2018

Highland Park Single Bourbon Hogshead – Gordon & MacPhail 43% ABV!

Dear friends, supporters and followers alike! When working the Whiskyexpo in Linköping a couple of weeks ago I passed by the stand of Symposion, since I had been given the great opportunity to pick up a sample of a coming Highland Park Single Bourbon Cask for review. Here in Sweden it is released tomorrow and you can view the product here

We are talking about a 1989 (26-27 years old) single refill american oak hogshead (250 litres) that has been watered down to 43% ABV. The cost for a bottle is 2402kr and Symposion has managed to source 96 bottles for the swedish market. Ok, let's see what we have here!




Nose:
The centre layer on the nose consists of a very broad vanilla and butter combo with a handful of light peat. We also have classic marzipan and/or almond paste. The top layer is soo frutiy; a kind of summery feeling going on here with an elegant but attention-seeking citrus, peel from red apples, mushed red apple pulp, citrus-infused liquid honey, and hey, there’s even a touch of mint. Lots and lots of summer fruity-ness! Finally, in the bottom-layer, there is a discrete, earthy and somewhat ashy peat with hints of vanilla-infused pipe tobacco. All together a great nose!


Taste:
Opens up soo incredibly smooth on soft, creamy and sweet elderflower with evident touches of vanilla. This phase lasts for about 2-3 seconds to be interrupted by a quick slightly bitter liquorice/polypodium. This then quickly moves on into the longest phase of the taste consisting first of marzipan and/or almond paste but then moving on into medium-dry peat, oak/”mature” wood and a nice malt-y cling to it. It fades away with burnt peat, or rather ashy peat, in combination with elderflower juice (soft drink without carbonation). Absolutely beautiful taste! Especially so the very beginning and the very end of the taste, nice!

To sum up:
My concluding remarks/thoughts are: While some part of me definitely would like to try this at higher strength I really must argue that this dram actually is very good and enjoyable on 43% ABV. Also, it’s very nice to enjoy HP that is bourbon matured, so fruity and different from classic sherrymatured HP. The only thing that I can think of that goes against purchasing a bottle is the price, on the other hand we are talking about a single cask here, and 26-27 years old so maybe it’s a go right?!

Big thanks to the nice people at Symposion for the opportunity to try this release, and to be able to review it before the launch! Please make sure to follow my FB-page by clicking here, my instagram by clicking here and my twitter-page 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 dot com and by stating the source 

Pic belongs to Symposion