...where distraction is the main attraction.

Thursday, December 31, 2020

Floki Sheep Dung Smoked Reserve Icelandic Malt

There are two kinds of people in this world. Those who look at a smoldering pile of feces and say, "That's a metaphor," and those who look at a smoldering pile of feces and say, "Let's smoke some malted barley."

Halli Thorkelsson of Eimverk Distillery in Iceland is of the second group, and today's brown fluid is the result of his team's efforts. Dried sheep poop has long been a legitimate and quite renewable fuel source from Ulaanbaatar to Reykjavík. So if the Scots use peat smoke to dry their barley, why shouldn't an Icelander burn some patties? I'd read somewhere that Eimverk Distillery was only going to produce ten casks of this young malt, but now they're up to cask 33 because apparently this is the shit.

I have been waiting for more than two years to drink this. May there never be a more appropriate time for it.

Distillery: Eimverk
Brand: Floki
Region: Iceland
Age: Less than 3 years
Maturation: American oak
Bottling year: 2017 or 2018
Alcohol by Volume: 47%
Chillfiltered? No
Caramel Colorant? No
(from a purchased sample)


Nose: One can smell the dried grasses that had passed through these ruminant ungulates. The nose is slightly wooly too, or is it the wool that smells of dung? Then there are notes of those little petting zoo feed nuggets......which makes me question what those things are made of. Beneath those genuine farmy notes one may find juniper, Slivovitz, honeydew and diesel. Reducing it to 43%abv mellows the nose, turning those sheep-ish notes to a grassy smoke. Honeydew and pears still linger, and maybe a hint of eau de vie.

Palate: You know that smell of grass clippings after the rain. Imagine it as a flavor. That's this Floki's first layer. Then cinnamon syrup, barley and the aforementioned feed nuggets sit in the middle. The palate sweetens beneath, developing blood oranges with time. (What, do you not like the words "blood" and "feces" in the same post?) Diluted to 43%abv, the malt simplifies. It's peppery, sweet, and slightly grassy with a hint of orange. A bit closer to familiar malt whisky.

Finish: It's a grassy eau de vie with a little bit of cinnamon, copper and soil. It becomes fruitier at 43%abv, with notes of pears and apples.

First the score, then the conclusion:
Rating - 82


There's no need to fear this stool-smoked malt. My own expectations were screwed up because of the word "Dung". Having now tried the malt, I wouldn't mind buying a bottle. Yes it is a little more, say, organic than most of us are used to but it's not like drinking out of a porta potty. It isn't even distilled feces, or a mutton steak for that matter. I find myself drawn to this young malt, though I had anticipated horrors.

I could proffer a thought like, When life gives you shit, make whisky. But that's not really valid. There are days, months and years in our lives that devastate us. When this happens we can admit the darkness of our moment and not try to spin it all into an immediate growing experience. Perhaps there will be time to learn later when our ghosts aren't so near, but this is happening now. We will endure but we will not be the same. May there be good in that, someday. May you all stay healthy and safe. And may 2020 now fuck right off.