Mackmyra Svensk Rök (2014)
A while back David Tjeder of Tjeders Whisky sent me a couple of samples. Being the good Swede he is, he of course also included a sample of Mackmyra, in this case the Svensk Rök. Turns out this is quite the interesting whisky, mainly because of the very different way they dried the barley.
Svensk Rök means Swedish Smoke. Now what is Swedish smoke? I’m glad you asked. For Mackmyra it means the type of smoke you get from a juniper fire. So what they did is drying the barley using only juniper. The inspiration for this came from the Swedish tradition to season food with juniper. The results are…. Well, read for yourself.
Mackmyra Svensk Rök (46,1%, OB, 2014)
Nose: Fresh and fruity with a slight hint of smoke. Very different type of smoke compared to say, peated Speysiders, let alone the Islay peat bombs. Fresher, greener. Must be the juniper. A successful experiment if you ask me. Pine needles, lemon zest, pears and a hint of milk chocolate.
Taste: More traditionally smoky now, peaty almost. Campfire smoke, but with a hit of menthol. Some black pepper and a subtle trace of pink grapefruit. Not overly complex.
Finish: On the shorter side, which is surprising, because traditionally the smokier/peatier whiskies have quite the long finish. Subtle smoke and vanilla.
It lacks depth and the finish is underwhelming, but I really did enjoy the different type of smoke you get from the juniper-dried barley. If you get the chance, try it. Interesting whisky.
Thijs is a spirits writer and accredited liquorist from The Netherlands. He runs the blog Words of Whisky and contributes to a number of Dutch and international publications.