Mackmyra has released a ten year old, already! – although its actually made up from spirit aged up to 13 years. Mackmyra started distilling way back in 1999 so an 18yo is theoretically on the cards right now. The Swedish distillery consistently use a cask combination of ex-bourbon, ex-sherry and a small percentage [up to 10%] of Swedish oak.
- 1999 The Mackmyra company is founded and building of the first distillery begins.
- 2002 Private investors are offered the chance to acquire private casks filled with Mackmyra’s early spirit runs. Annual production capacity around 600,000 litres.
- 2006 Preludium 01 WB, [the first limited edition single malt whisky], is launched – selling out in less than 20 minutes wiki.
- 2008 ’The First’ WB is launched in international markets.
- 2011 A second distillery ‘Gravity’ opens, 6 miles east of Mackmyra village. With an annual production capacity of 1.8 million litres, efficiency was a big part of the design video.
In the same year Mackmyra won the IWSC European Spirits Producer of the year. Other awards and accolades have rightly followed. Let’s try three of their current stock [tried over the course of four weeks].
I hope i got this right: This is a true limited edition whisky [1500 bottles], taken from 30 ltr ‘Ambassador’ casks – 2nd refill’s with new Swedish oak ends, as well as 1st fill sherry & bourbon. The ‘Ambassadors’ include casks/cask components from five of those private investor casks from around 2002+. Correct, Alex?
- N: Good controlled funk.
- T: Some sugariness to start,…. aah, it’s not quite there.
- F: Manageable peppery heat.
- C: Not sure really, best try another day.
Scores 82 points
Not satisfied with my palate that day, I tried the Malstrom a few weeks later, and my perceptions were greatly different.
Mackmyra Moment Malstrom: Take 2
Malstrom means whirlpool.
- N: Pineapple cubes, pine needles, waxy/buttery, putty/spongey sherry – thats Mackmyras distillery character right there. Gossamer-soft nose without any noticeable desperate/rushed wood extraction, despite coming solely from those diddy 30ltr casks – clever.
- T: Density on arrival with all of the notes above, delivered in a honeyed & soft resinous capsule of moorishness.
- F: Youthful woody pine needles with a tannic-sweet dry finish.
- C: This highlights how strong the distillery character of Mackmyra is, clearly identifiable then as it is now.
Today it scores more like 85
This is malt smoked over juniper which Mackmyra says [of the Swedes] “have used to season [their] food for generations.” mackmyra.com
- N: There’s a high copper contact i’m guessing given the fruits and the funk – smoked funk. Compacted saltiness also.
- T: Starts rather savoury>sweet with dry heather. I sense a relaxed maturation policy i.e. a fair number of refills.
- F: Dry yet lingering.
- C: I dig this too.
Scores 84 points
Given they started distilling in 1999, what this 10yo release means in reality is Mackmyra have enough 10yo stock for international release which is good news.
- N: Bourbon-aged icing sugar whisky.
- T: Something Scottish, something Irish [neither of course], softish & fruity. There’s far more fruity-putty depth here than in the younger ‘pineapple cube & pine needle presentations’, which i find most agreeable also – the ‘Bruks’ WB for instance [batch dependent], of which I’ve enjoyed many a bottle over the last few years. In that sense feel i’ve been watching this one grow up.
- F: Good continuation in form and further demonstrations of maturity.
- C: I hear the uncle in me saying ‘hasn’t she grown’ – and ‘she’ has. Only the nose wasn’t totally convincing.
Scores 85 points
Mackmyra 10yo: Take 2 [four week later]
- N: Farmy? – [Probably coming from my previous Clynelish]. Maturity for sure with that by-now familiar distillery signature, depth & [cask] character – white acorn oak with buttery flapjack.
- T: Popcorn less the pine needles – more a woody-green sweet soup that hopefully one day will become more oily in time – in bigger casks?
- F: Very much led by the bourbon casks this, much like Balblair in style – yet I find this better than some recent Inverhouse Highland releases.
- C: Very good indeed, a fine way to announce ones first core 10yo.
Scores 86 points
Here’s a tour video by Horst Luening from whisky.com [which includes the smallest malting floor he has ever seen].