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Monday, March 6, 2017

Mackmyra Special 05 "Happy Hunting" Swedish Single Malt Whisky

Let's make this week a Mackmyra week, in honor of the president of the united states (no caps) showing such informed concern for Swedish problems that don't exist.

Mackmyra has a forest warehouse next to their distillery near Gävle, as well as other warehouses in Fjäderholmarna (an island), Smögen (blasted into a rock wall near the sea), at Häckeberga Castle (a castle), Bodås Mine (a mine) and Gut Basthorst (in Germany!). This allows them to experiment quite a bit with maturation. They also have been known to tinker with different types of wood, including Swedish, as well as different types of seasoned casks.

The fifth release in their "Special" series, Jaktlycka (or Happy Hunting, in English), was "matured on several different cask types in the Bodås mine and on the island Fjäderholmarna. The whisky has finished on casks that have been saturated with lingonberry wine," as per their official site. I've also seen sites list its maturation (not finishing) as being in blueberry wine and cranberry wine casks. But I'll go with the official notes since they admit it's a finishing.

Sample was apparently found at the bottom of the ocean

 Mackmyra Svensk Whisky
Range: Special
Special #: 5
Region: Sweden
Type: Single Malt
Age: ???
Maturation: see notes above
Release Year: Autumn 2010
Alcohol by Volume: 47.2%
(Sample purchased many moons ago)

Tons of grains in the nose, as well as yeast and this regrettable sorghum beer. Seems pretty close to newmake at first. Then comes brown sugar, Juicy Fruit gum and roses. The palate is malty and very sweet (bubblegum and toffee). There's also a bitter bile note and plenty of ethyl heat. The finish is also on the warm side of things. It's grassy and herbal, sweet and bitter. Theres a long aftertaste of bread crust.

WITH WATER (~40%abv)
Water brings out a berry-ish note, though the nose remains mostly focused on grains and yeast. A plum wine note arises after a few minutes. The palate remains sharply bitter. Raw cranberries. Marshmallow sweetness. There's also something reminiscent of single grain whisky. The finish improves. Marshmallow fluff, tangy berries and dried rosemary.

For better or worse the berry wine finish barely registers in the final product. It takes some water to bring out the berries. The nose is certainly of interest, with or without water, since I'm someone who prefers blatant grain notes over overt oak notes. On the other hand, the palate is challenging. When neat, it's half quite good and half crummy, with the two halves never coming together. Water pulls it together, but it remains raw. It finishes well, though, salvaging some of the earlier issues. It's a quirky thing, but there's no doubt that it's whisky.

Availability - Getting scarce
Pricing - somewhere between $45 and $85
Rating - 78

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