Friday, May 11, 2012

A Special Swede – Mackmyra Special 01 Eminent Sherry

Mackmyra Special 01 Eminent Sherry

The Search for Something New – A Review by the Unclean

Upon learning that it was it was my turn to host a meeting of the DTWC (25th June 2011) I found myself in a tail spin as I searched for a whisky that the heavy hitters of the DTWC had not tried before.  As a complete newcomer to the world of whisky I quickly found that while I could quite easily find whiskies that I hadn’t tried before the same couldn’t be said of the founding members and my visits to the local bottle shops quickly ended in frustration.

It wasn’t until I found myself sitting on a plane flicking through the in-flight magazine for the twelfth time, bored out of my gourd and waiting for the engines to start when lady luck smiled upon the Unclean.  In between an article on the nocturnal habits of the bush babies of the Kalahari and an introduction to the enchanting world of Indonesian batik I happened across an article on the emergence of new world whisky.

It was here I leant about Macmyra. A Swedish venture set up by eight friends who met up at a mountain lodge in the spring of 1998.

According to the Macmyra website, each had taken along a bottle of malt whisky for the host; the topic of conversation was obvious. How do you make whisky? And why isn’t there a Swedish one? The question led them to start exploring the possibilities of making their own Swedish whisky.

The mind only boggles at what the DTWC may be capable of after three years of regular meetings?

Having made the decision to pick up a bottle of Mackmyra (albeit two days before the meeting), the challenge quickly became how do I get my hands on one and quickly.

It was here that I learnt that the internet offers more than porn alone and happened upon the Odd Whisky Coy in Adelaide.

Graham 'The Big G' of The Odd Whisky Coy 
Despite a more than dubious photo on the website, the proprietor, Graham proved to be knowledgeable and extremely helpful and promised to get me a bottle of Macmyra Special 01 in time and under budget.  Having handed over my credit card details I was pleased to say that Graham came through with the goods in flying colours.

Mackmyra Special 01 Eminent Sherry
Location / Region: Sweden
Alcohol: 51.6%

The bottle is well presented in its box and would make quite an attractive gift.  The bottle itself is squat with a heavy base holding an unusual 700mls.

Pouring the first dram, the first thing I notice is the honey yellow colour.  The nose gives off light fruity / floral tones (almost honey like) and surprisingly little hint of the alcohol content (51.6%).

The first sip removes any doubt regarding the alcohol content and it kicks like a mule (I will take my second sip a little slower… obviously a rooky mistake).

The second sip and I’m focusing on mouth feel and flavor and really can’t get past the warmth of the alcohol.  The third sip and I’m getting I’m picking up spice and oak (which is no doubt a result of having been matured in Spanish ex-sherry casks).

Adding some water certainly took some of the edge off and enhanced some of the fruity tones on the nose. Adding water also allowed some of the same tones to come through on the palate and lessened the dry finish.

I think that I’ve found the way to drink my Swede…

While I readily acknowledge my status as rank beginner in all things whisky, my thoughts are that while there is a lot to like in the floral nose and spicy pallet, I can’t help but think that this would have been more interesting if it wasn’t for the dry finish and at times overbearing alcohol, maybe I’ll add some more water…

The Unclean