I’m married to a Swede, but this is — amazingly — my first Swedish whisky. Sweden has a fairly young history as a whisky producer — only nine distilleries are operating in the country now, all but one (Mackmyra, reviewed here) having been founded in the 2000s. Mackmyra is the country’s most notable producer to date. It’s based in Stockholm, making single malt in the Scotch style — much like the production model followed in Japan.
Mackmyra Svensk Whisky First Edition is, oddly enough, not Mackmyra’s first edition. The company’s been making whisky since 1999. This new bottling actually honors a new generation of Swedish whisky, made from local ingredients and matured (in part) in Swedish oak 50 feet below ground in a nearby mine shaft.
This single malt carries no age statement, but the bottle does note that it is matured in 5.4% Swedish oak (the rest is ex-Bourbon barrels), in 45% small casks, warehoused in the Bodas Mine, and bottled at 92.2 proof.
The spirit itself is surprisingly enticing. The color is a very pale amber. The nose is malty, with a touch of spice that’s hard to place. On the body: Lots more going on. It’s malty and bready at the core, but beneath it there’s much more to find. Cinnamon, some orange peel, banana, and a little coconut husk. Long finish, and all of this integrates well in the end, into a sort of Christmas cake experience. Hot at first, it mellows out well as you give it some time with the air.