måndag 27 februari 2017

Swedish Whisky bottled by Bergslagens Distillery – Sherry Darling 5yo 58% ABV

Dear friends and followers! To my immense joy, I received a package last friday which turned out to contain a sample from Bergslagens Distillery! The label declares "Sherry Darling Aged 5 years, sherry casks". This is the first release in a series of three (the other two being "Sherry Darling lightly Peated" and "Sherry Darling Peated").

The pressrelease that I received states that this first release has been produced by blending circa/roughly ten 50 litre sherry casks together. There is no mention either of type of sherry (but I'm guessing Oloroso) or of what kind of oak (european or american). Anyways, the pressrelease does state that the 58% ABV is cask strength (but I wonder, is it rather not batting strength we are dealing with here, and watered to that exakt ABV?).

Now, this whisky has not been produced or distilled by Bergslagen Distillery but it was distilled at the (now closed) Grythyttan Distillery. You see, a while ago the people at Bergslagen Distillery purchased all of the stock produced at Grythyttan. So, this whisky should rightly be viewed as an independent bottling, which the label also states. Great! 

This bottling will be available this wednesday (the first of March) in the four state monopoly stores located in the town of Örebro. It will also be available to order via the order-assortment. Each of the stores in Örebro will have 36 bottles and via the order-assortment there is around 500 bottles available. Ok, let's see what we have here! 
picture/copyright belongs to Bergslagen Distillery

The first thing that springs to mind is an extreme presence of dark raisins, believe me, it really is extreme. This is a real sherrybomb in the true sense of the word! The dark raisins are in some way not really fully dried raisins, but rather like some kind of mix of raisins and half-dried dark red grapes… Something else on the nose? Of course, there is heavy leather (almost moving into sweat-y old leather shoes) something burnt, maybe even burnt leather. Besides that, there is some extremely citric stuff going on in the top layer, maybe green kiwi mixed with freshly squeezed lemon juice? But overall, the nose screams dark raisins… This is quite young whisky, so are there any traces of that on the nose? Nope, no alcohol sting, no signs of new make, there isn’t even anything yeast-y or bakers yeast going on here… very, very intriguing indeed! Ok, let’s have a sip 

Oooh! That, is, intense! And dry, very dry, oak-y dry. A heavy mix of dry and dried dark raisins, the leather is definietely there together with large amounts of some really strong-brewed coffee, and big amounts of oak. Wow… also, the first sip makes me wonder if the liquid I'm enjoying is heavy sherry, whisky infused sherry, or just an extreme sherry bomb… the line between these three types or alternatives is definitely hard to tell in this case. There is also a big touch of alcohol going on here (a punch-in-the-face-whisky), but still it does not seem young in charachter (no signs of new make and nothing yeast-y). Is there ”too much” oak? Well, let me put it this way, if the whisky had spent any more time in the casks it might have toppled over indeeed. 

Some water perhaps? Just 5-6 drops to see what happens with the nose:
Not that intense on the raisins any more, but the kiwi and lemon juice really did step up. The burnt leather was also enhanced and is now at the center of attention. Even some sweet liqorice… nice! 

How did the water impact the taste? Well, it becomes mellow on the raisins and the leather, almost everything calms down. Lemon infused medium dark milk chocolate comes to the center of attention, and, the taste becomes really, really spicy, it almost stings my tongue actually! Also, coffe and sweet tobacco/cigarillos comes to the front together with white chocolate… interesting! Can this whisky take more water? I’m absolutely sure it can, but you have to buy one and try it for yourselves. I think it was better, and most of all, more extreme without water, and the extreme is what I like about this whisky!

Big thanks to the nice people at Bergslagens Distillery for sharing a sample of this great and interesting whisky and for the opportunity to review and try it before the release! Sláinte! Please make sure to follow my FB-page by clicking here, my twitter-page by clicking here, and my instagram by clicking here. Copyright © and All Rights Reserved on all tasting notes and text by SamuelWhisky and pictures likewise belong to SamuelWhisky, unless stated. If you would like to use any such material that belongs to SamuelWhisky or associated with SamuelWhisky, please ask by sending me an email to samuelkarlssonorebro[at]gmail.com

tisdag 14 februari 2017

Swedish Whisky from Smögen – Triple 5 yo 54% ABV

Dear friends and followers! About one and a half week ago, I spent my time working for Edrington at the Linköping Whiskyexpo which was great fun as usual. What was also very fun was that I passed by the stand of swedish west coast distillery Smögen to have a quick chat with the distillery manager/master distiller Pär Caldenby. So what was the purpose with the quick chat? Well, it was of course to see if Pär had anything special up his sleeve for me to review! So, did he? Oh yes indeed, I was very lucky to collect a sample of the coming release called "Triple"! 🙂

So, what is so special about this coming release? Well, it's a release of the (so far) only triple distilled whisky from Smögen! On the label below it is described as being "intended as an experiment". The whisky is 5 years (and nine months) old and has been fully matured in two Sauternes Barriques (European oak, 228 litres each). The cask numbers are 5/2011 and 6/2011. The malt is heavily peated, in this case meaning slightly above 50ppm.  The new make was filled in March 2011 and the whisky was bottled in January 2017. The two casks gave 882 bottles out of which 696 will be available at the swedish state monopoly by web-release, this thursday (the 16th of february) 10 o'clock (view the product here). 
The info and the words of Pär about "Triple"
But hey, we need some more info right? So, with the hope of gaining some more info on this particular bottling, likewise to be able to share this very exclusive info with you my fellow friends and followers, I sent an email to Pär with a couple of questions. You will find his answers in italics:

1). When you double distill, what is the ABV of the new make coming out of the spirit still? 
The heart of the spirit run is roughly 70% ABV, in winter slightly higher.

2). When you triple distill, what is then the ABV of the new make coming out of the spirit still?
For the triple distillation (...) the heart is closer to 75% ABV

3). To what ABV did you water this triple distilled new make before filling? 
The watering at filling was to around 70% ABV. Also, this batch is watered also at bottling [from the cask strength 66% ABV, to 54% ABV]. It is great at 54% ABV, even if it does stand just a little more water if one prefers that.  

4). Is this the only time you've done triple distillation, or is there more of this stuff maturing in the warehouse as we speak? 
These were the only two casks containing triple distilled whisky. I'm thinking about triple distilling again.

5). The two sauternes barriques used for this bottling, are they "fresh"/first fill, as was the case for single cask 7/2011, or is it second fill? I came to think of this when I discovered that the "Triple" is slightly lighter in color than the SC 7/2011 
The sauternes barriques used are first fill/fresh, but with a light toasting level, while SC 7/2011 was medium plus toasting level. [The toasting level] makes a huge difference. 

Ok folks, now we know a lot more, so let's see what we have here

Very fat and big! Boasting of first and foremost whipped full fat cream, dark vanilla fudge almost even chocolate fudge, dark sugar moving into light swedish baking syrup (treacle/molasses?). All of these things are in the first or main ”layer”. There is even a tad of cold coffee in there. All these things are almost inseparable, tightly clinging together to one another and really hard to tell a part. As far as the second layer is concerned there is just a tad of baking yeast and something reminding me of the peel from swedish Ingrid Marie (red winter) apples. (Damn, now I can’t stop thinking about cinnamon, cardamom and vanilla custard…). The peat? Well, it’s very, very chocolate-y in style but also sort of having a barbecue in the woods. Wow, this sure is a complex dram… everything is extremely well integrated... Ok, let’s have a sip!

Salt and dark sugar begins and they are completely inseparable! So is all of the earthy peat and the light milk chocolate that follows, also the very, very soft vanilla cream. Everything blends together in a really fascinating way, wow… When swallowing, a gently dry peat evolves together with even more milk chocolate. There is also actually, interestingly enough the red apples from the nose, but not peel this time, rather ovenbaked apple pulp or flesh. At the start of the aftertaste, with my mouth closed, the light alcohol ”rises” in my mouth, moving towards my ”upper mouth” (the pharynx), then follows the baking syrup. For a while, in the late aftertaste, everything gets more and more thick and meaty, or rather chew-y, yes very chewable. 

To sum up:
This dram is very comlex and most of all, everything is so well integrated. I can’t think of any scent, any flavour, or any of all the elements going on here that does not cling together or intermingle with one another. To try to describe this in another way, I can only come to think of one word and that word is, mature. Yes, this is a mature whisky, and an extremly enjoyable one, both when it comes to the nose and the taste. Now, I am well aware that I’ve drawn this conclusion many a times when I’ve tasted the different releases and expressions from Smögen, but this time it is even more so! To me, this whisky seems way older than five years and nine months. And, the triple distillation style works and fits perfectly with the ”house style” of Smögen, so smooth and so soft yet so full and fat… Nice!

Big thanks to Pär for sharing a sample of "Triple" and for the opportunity to review and try it before the release! Sláinte! Please make sure to follow my FB-page by clicking here, my twitter-page by clicking here, and my instagram by clicking here. Copyright © and All Rights Reserved on all tasting notes and text by SamuelWhisky and pictures likewise belong to SamuelWhisky, unless stated. If you would like to use any such material that belongs to SamuelWhisky or associated with SamuelWhisky, please ask by sending me an email to samuelkarlssonorebro[at]gmail.com

picture/copyright belongs to Smögen Distillery

torsdag 9 februari 2017

Highland Park – FIRE 15yo 45,2% ABV

Friends and followers! Last weekend I had the great pleasure to once again work the Linköping Whiskyexpo for Edrington. This means taking care of Highland Park (among many other great whiskies in the Edrington portfolio). The first thing I noticed when I arrived to the festival was that we had Highland Park FIRE in the stand! Now, since FIRE has not yet been launched and released here in Sweden, working at the festival was a great opportunity for me to try it before the release. And of course I grasped that opportunity, and I'm very thankful that the nice people of Edrington let me :)

FIRE will be available on the swedish state monopoly on Friday the 17th of February (1331 bottles, and you can view it here). 

Just as ICE is a very special expression of Highland Park (read my post on ICE here), so is FIRE. What is special about it? Well you see, FIRE has been fully matured in refill Port wine seasoned casks and Highland Park has to my knowledge never released a whisky matured in casks that previously held port wine. Adding to that, during the festival I spoke to Martin Markvardsen about the maturation process of FIRE, and if I understood Martin correctly (and if I remember correctly), the whisky has first spent 13 years in port pipes and was then transferred to port hogsheads for a final 2 years of maturation. 

For info on the concept and idea behind HP FIRE, please do check out this great video, where Martin shares the story of FIRE. Ok! Let's see what we have here! 

When opening the bottle and nosing, the first thing that comes to mind is actually something a bit ”burnt”, sort of. Maybe something like burnt dark raisins intermingling with peat. Pouring a dram into the glass and nosing from a distant (ten centimeters or so) I first get a very slight and soft touch of oranges, not really orange juice, rather orange peel (you know the way your fingers smell when you’ve peeled an orange?). There’s even some light milk chocolate with a scent of oranges. Also there is light liquid honey, a honey that is quite summer-y and flower-y, very nice and soft… But wait, there are more fruits in there, overripe yellow kiwi and something reminding me of… is it peach candy or is it mango? Anyways, moving closer so that I have my nose in the glass I first get a whiff of medium strong alcohol, surrounding that is that slightly ”burnt” note again, but this time something like burnt sugar rather than burnt dark raisins. Nosing even deeper into the glass, interestingly enough I do pick up sweet liquorice candy! At the same time, there is also something salt-y going on here. So, even though the nose all in all is complex it’s also very ”calm” if you know what I mean? The only thing on the nose that pops out from the general fruity-ness, honey stuff and burnt raisins and the burnt sugar, is that peedie bit of medium strong alcohol, meaning, it smells just a bit ”strong” although it is only 45,2% ABV. Okey, moving on to the taste!

Martin to the left, SamuelWhisky to the right
Wow! First, it starts off on light liquid honey, but then, Boom! Everything goes very salt-y! Sea salt in fact, also of course a fist full of heather-honey-peat, and that’s with an emphasis on peat. Now, this first part of the taste is initial and quite fast, say 2-3 seconds. After that, when swallowing, it moves very quickly into bicycle inner-tube, some kind of vegetal and/or herbal feeling intermingling with rubber/”plastic” and metallic notes, in turn intermingling with peat. In the early aftertaste, the bicycle inner-tube thingy and the vegetal/herbal stuff, moves on (within a time period of 5 seconds or so) into a mix of heavy almond paste, and even more vegetal/herbal stuff… In the late aftertaste a sort of distant creamy-ness together with ashy peat becomes more and more apparent, finally becoming the center of attention together with someting like the kind of ”mould” that is on brie cheese. In terms of texture the aftertaste can be described as being lightly dry (not heavy dry, not medium dry, but lightly dry). From swallowing, the length of the dram is about one minute long but it starts to fade  softly after thirty seconds or so. 

To sum up:
So, what’s the most interesting and good thing about this dram? 
1). For me, something that makes a dram interesting and intriguing is the quality/characteristic that the nose is basically completely different from the taste, meaning for instance that none of the fruity stuff on the nose is there on the taste. 
2). Both the nose and the taste is very complex, and complex in different ways. 
3). The move by HP to mature in a type of casks and seasoning it has never before done is absoutely brilliant which makes both the nose and most of all the taste very hard to anticipate.

How is the concept of ”FIRE” visible or obvious on the nose and the taste?
On the nose we have the peedie bit of medium strong alcohol but most of all the burnt raisins and the burnt sugar. On the taste everyhing signals ”FIRE”, apart from the honey and the creamy-ness as well as the brie type ”mould”.

Could there have been even more ”FIRE”?
Yes, but I think that it would have to entail first of all a higher strength and second of all the use of first fill port casks. 

Is this a good whisky? Yes, definitely. Why? Well first of all, the fruity stuff on the nose is absolutely beautiful! And second, you will never have tasted a HP such as this one, and you will very seldom come upon a nose and taste so different from each other than it is in this dram

pic borrowed from/belongs to systembolaget.se
Please make sure to follow my FB-page by clicking here, my twitter-page by clicking here, and my instagram by clicking here. Copyright © and All Rights Reserved on all tasting notes and text by SamuelWhisky and pictures likewise belong to SamuelWhisky, unless stated. If you would like to use any such material that belongs to SamuelWhisky or associated with SamuelWhisky, please ask by sending me an email to samuelkarlssonorebro[at]gmail.com 

pic borrowed from/belongs to abbeywhisky.com

måndag 30 januari 2017

Svenska Eldvatten – Sherry Cask Collection Single Cask 01

Dear friends and followers! When working at the Borlänge Beer and Whiskyfestival in November last year, I passed by the stand of swedish indendent bottlers Svenska Eldvatten (Swedish Firewater) to have a chat with Peter and Tommy. Of course I was very keen on finding out if there was any new release coming up shortly that they wanted me to review. And indeed they did have something for me, something very special; the first release in their new series called Sherry Cask Collection. All bottlings in the series will be from different single sherry casks, and of course, always bottled at cask strength, yummie!

So, what is special about this first release? Well, actually it’s a blended malt from a single cask. The new make from each of these distilleries was distilled in October 1993. Whether or not the new make was "blended at birth" is not known. However the whisky was bottled in November 2016, so that means 23yo! The whisky has been bottled at cask strength 53,5% ABV.

The cask gave 355 bottles. This first release will be available at the swedish state monopoly starting this Wednesday, please feel free to check it out by clicking here. Unfortunately I do not know from which three distilleries the whisky comes from, whether it’s american oak or european oak, whether it’s firstfill or refill, what kind of cask, or what kind of sherry, but I’m guessing Oloroso. 

Ok, this is very exciting, let’s see what we have here!

Oooh, very, very soft and sort of ”calm”. The sherry influence should probably not be described as a sherry monster, rather as a ”whispering sherry”, however it is indeed quite ”fat”, but not boasting. The layers are two in number, the first and foremost layer consists of very mellow liquid/fluid brown sugar that is seamlessly intertwined with medium dark vanilla fudge (whatever that is), and mmm some Crème Brûlée (not the burnt surface, only the pudding itself). In the first layer there is also, of course, dark raisins and figs but they are definitely in the background hiding behind something like a mix of dark vanilla and just a tad of coconut. The second layer is very intricate, representing itself as something citric, not lemon juice, something else, maybe it is better explained as soft cucumber water mixed with just a tad of sugared lime juice… hmm, very hard to describe. Anyways, what is clearly dominating here is the first layer, and it’s absolutely beautiful… 

Copyright/picture belongs to Svenska Eldvatten
Starts of medium salt-y, and just a peedie bit of peat actually! It swooshes by, so the peat is very fast. There is also definitely a whole lot of sherry sweetness in there (mostly reminding me of dried sugar-y dates but also some dried figs). In fact, the sherry influence is not at all as soft and calm on the taste and palate as it on the nose, that feels comforting. So that means it’s more of a bomb on the taste than on the nose! The interesting thing with the taste is that there is a constanst battle going on between sugar sweetness (brown sugar and dried raisins) and peaty salt-y-ness. Likewise, a battle between a medium dark vanilla and some kind of liquorice… very interesting. When taking another sip and swallowing and then smacking my mouth, in the distant, I really get a feeling of a very, very soft and sherried Highland Park, interesting… 

To sum up
1). This is a perfectly balanced and very soft and well-matured ”sherry whisperer”. The vanilla stuff and the Crème Brûlée is absolutely beautiful 
2). The peat found on the taste is not at all there on the nose! So when you taste it you will find it to be a welcome surprise indeed. 
3). Given the soft and medium dark vanilla this is probably matured in american oak rather than european oak, and probably refill rather than first fill. 
4). Whoever blended these three single malts together did a very good job, and the desicion to pour the liquid into a single cask was great, and the decision by the chaps at Svenska Eldvatten to bottle it, even better 
5. Can I have some more please?!  

Big thanks to Peter and Tommy for sharing a sample of this whisky, and to be nice enough to let me review it before release! Please make sure to follow my FB-page by clicking here, my twitter-page by clicking here, and my instagram by clicking here. Copyright © and All Rights Reserved on all tasting notes and text by SamuelWhisky and pictures likewise belong to SamuelWhisky, unless stated. If you would like to use any such material that belongs to SamuelWhisky or associated with SamuelWhisky, please ask by sending me an email to samuelkarlssonorebro[at]gmail.com 

copyright/pic belongs to Svenska Eldvatten

onsdag 18 januari 2017

Glenfiddich - IPA Experiment 43% ABV

Dear friends and followers! In the beginning of november, Glenfiddich contacted me with info about a coming release, namely their "IPA Experiment". This whisky is the first one in their new "experimental series". The whisky (no age declared) has been finished in american oak barrels that previously held a Speyside IPA created especially for this end, that is, to give flavours to the casks. The IPA has been in the casks for 4 weeks and the whisky has in turn had a 12 week finish in the casks. 

For more info on the process and on this first whisky in the series, please feel free to check out this link. Here in Sweden, Glenfiddich IPA Experiment will be released this friday at the swedish state monopoly, and you can view the product here.

Since the nice people of Glenfiddich offered me a sample of this new whisky, it is time to share some nosing and tasting notes with you all, ok, let's go! 

Very fruity, the center of the nose first and foremost shows a focus on citrus fruits (sugar-y lemon juice and orange peel). There is also a tad of yellow kiwi. But above all the nose boasts of vanilla and fudge (completely intermingling in this whisky, that is to say, they are unseparable), light honey and loads of overripe banana. Also, nutt-y-ness is very evident (or is it almond?) 

starts off incredibly creamy and rich/"thick" (focus on vanilla cream and honey). interestingly enough, none of the citrus fruits are there, but overripe banana sure is! at the exact moment of swallowing, i get overripe pear and most of all lots of vanillafudge and honey. 10 seconds or so after swallowing everything gets very, very dry, and quite spicy actually, most of all though, very dry. After about 20 seconds or so, a slight, slight touch of cinnamon, coffee and very light milk chocolate comes along, interesting... the aftertaste is very long and above all, very dry, especially so on all of my tongue and the "upper mouth" 

So, to sum up, firstly: Is this a good whisky? Yes, definitely a really good everyday dram! If I remember the 12yo correctly i'd say that IPA Experiment is the best of the two. However it does not win over the 15yo Solera (but it might be unfair to compare two so different whiskies).
Secondly: as far as my nosing and tasting skill goes, I cannot seem to pick up the IPA reference in this whisky (not in terms of hops anyway) but hey, maybe it's the citrus fruits on the nose and the dryness on the taste that reflects the IPA touch? Who knows. Anyways, a nice soft and quite rich nose, the creamy part of the taste was really nice, but for me the dryness was just a tad to much, almost like as if it is another whisky in the aftertaste than in the first part of the taste. All in all a very interesting experiment but to make the IPA reference and the hops come through the whisky should, in my opinion, have spent more time finishing in the casks 

Big thanks and sláinte to Glenfiddich for the opportunity to taste this whisky before it's release! 😃 
Please make sure to follow my FB-page by clicking here, my twitter-page by clicking here, and my instagram by clicking here. Copyright © and All Rights Reserved on all tasting notes and text by SamuelWhisky and pictures likewise belong to SamuelWhisky, unless stated. If you would like to use any such material that belongs to SamuelWhisky or associated with SamuelWhisky, please ask by sending me an email to samuelkarlssonorebro[at]gmail.com 

all rights reserved/copyright belongs to Glenfiddich

lördag 5 november 2016

Swedish whisky from Box – Dálvve 46% ABV

Dear friends and followers! Yesterday I was very lucky to receive a package containing something very exciting, a sample of the first ”core range”/signature malt whisky from the swedish distillery Box! So far, they have focused on releasing various (very high quality) limited editions. Since the distillery is quite young indeed, it is understandable that these limited editions have not been very big releases in terms of number of bottles. 

However, when I visited Box Distillery about 1,5 years ago (read all about it here), they mentioned that they soon will release a core range whisky. And now, they are at that point! 

As you might know, Box Distillery, known as ”The High Coast Distillery”, is one of the worlds most northern distilleries. Drawing on their nordic location and their nordic heritage, for their core range whisky/signature malt they have borrowed it’s name and taken inspiration from the language of the indigenous Sami people, choosing to call their whisky Dálvve, simply meaning winter. Dálvve will be released at the swedish state monopoly this monday, please follow this link to view it. 

For a change, and very unusual for being Box Distilley, the pressrelease enclosed with the sample did not contain any info at all regarding the age, maturation etcetera of the whisky. Therefor, I decided to send a text to the Distilley Manager/Master Distiller Roger Melander with these questions:

1. In short notes, what is the recipe for Dálvve? Types of casks used, ratio of peat, age?
2. How many bottles have been stashed away for the Swedish state monopoly of this first batch?
3. From batch to batch, will the recipe of Dállve change concerning the age?

This is what Roger was kind enough to reply: 
Dálvve is matured completely in bourbon casks. Mostly 200 litre casks but also some 135 litre casks. Circa 24% of the whisky has been peated (11ppm on average). The youngest drops are 5,07 years old and an average age of 5,26 years old. 9000 bottles of batch 01 is set aside for the state monopoly. In total circa 14000 bottles have been produced. The style will be the same but of course with variations from batch to batch”. 

Ok, very exciting indeed, let’s see what we have here!

In the very front of the nose, the first layer, there is a really, really softly whispering and discrete kind of vanilla intermingling quietly with fruits such as medium-ripe pears and swedish winter apples. There is also some kind of superslight touch of light honey. In the second layer an oak-y-ness is definitely calling for attention in the form of fir tree, not really christmas tree but anyways, it’s fir, maybe even fir branches? This reminds me of the very specific kind of nose that swedish oak maturation does for the whisky from Box… Nosing deeper into the second layer I happen to find some ”burnt” notes, however no smoke, peat or ashes, rather roasted almonds and newly charred oak. Going even deeper, in the third layer we have something reminding me of lime sugar syrup, mmm… All in all, this is a very calm version of Box, the nose is very soft but still interesting, elegant but very intriguing. Ok, let’s have a taste!

Well, it’s definitley whisky from Box Distillery! (if you’ve tasted their whisky before you will recognise their profile). Starts of quite complex indeed with a perfect (and quite schizophrenic) mix of sugary sweet and coastal salt-yness. The sweetness could also be interpreted as some kind of citric sweet flavours mixed with a liquorice salt-y peatiness… Actually, the peat kind of grows on you, evolving quite fast! In the beginning of the taste there is a slight hint of young whisky but as the peat grows the (young) age is definitely something that looses focus. When the peat slowly goes away from the palate the oak-y-ness and the fir tree along with the slightly ”burnt notes” takes the overhand, even something reminding me of something like juniper… In the aftertaste all of this developes into a medium dryness. Finally, it fades out into vanilla and fruit-y-ness… All in all, the strength of 46% ABV is a perfect choice, and due to the ”burnt notes” alongside with the slight peaty-ness it feels a bit stronger than 46. 

To sum up: A job well done! Dálvve is a really good whisky and considering the fact that you can get a 70 cl bottle of circa 5yo swedish whisky for around €50 is just great! This style of whisky I think is very easy for most people to like, just a slight touch of peat on the nose and a tad more peat on the taste/palate. Very likeable indeed and as i metioned, soft but still interesting, elegant but very intriguing ☺ Big thanks to the nice people of Box Distillery for the opportunity to taste this whisky and an extra thanks to Roger for being so kind to answer my questions on a Saturday! Sláinte!

Please make sure to follow my FB-page by clicking here, and my twitter-page by clicking here. Copyright © and All Rights Reserved on all tasting notes and text by SamuelWhisky and pictures likewise belong to SamuelWhisky, unless stated. If you would like to use any such material that belongs to SamuelWhisky or associated with SamuelWhisky, please ask by sending me an email to samuelkarlssonorebro[at]gmail.com 
picture belongs to Box Distillery

tisdag 11 oktober 2016

Highland Park Single Cask 6403 and 2121 for Sweden only!!!

Dear friends and followers, today, to my big surprise, I received a mystery package from a mystery sender! I was indescribably happy when I discovered that the package contained the two coming releases of Single Cask Highland Park, for Sweden only! It also contained a nice little info-card. When I recently had the great honor and pleasure to visit Highland Park distillery (read all about it here) I was told about these two single casks and that they would soon be released, so as you all can understand it is a great satisfaction to finally be able to try them, and to try them before they are being released! 

[Edit2: It has now come to my attention that the launch of cask 2121 has been set to the 8th of december. The delay was due to an unfortunate miss-labelling of the ABV; it was marked 60,5% ABV but should in fact have been 59,7%. The bottles have now been sent back for re-labelling and the product can be viewed at the webpage of the state monopoly from the 1st of december]

[Edit1: Dear friends and followers, today, on the 17th of October, an employee at Edrington Sweden contacted me to let me know, and help spread that the launch of cask 2121 sadly has been delayed. The new date for it's release has not yet been set but it will be available sometime later this year, probably in december. Feel free to check in every now and then to stay updated on the new release date as I will edit this post instantly when I know more. Please note that the state monopoly has not yet changed the info on the release date of cask 2121 so it is still possible to view it, but we can expect them to withdraw the product from their webpage and/or change the date within a number of days. However, cask 6403 will be released this Thursday as was originally set from the beginning, and you can view it by clicking here]

The first bottling/cask for Sweden has an ABV of 58,6% and is from cask no. 6403, a first fill sherry European Hogshead that resulted in 300 bottles. The whisky from this cask is 13 years old

The second bottling/cask for Sweden has an ABV of 59,7% and is from cask no. 2121, a first fill sherry American Butt that resulted in 600 bottles. The whisky from this cask is 14 years old

As you all can imagine,  given that they are both first fill sherry (and oloroso I assume), it will be very interesting indeed to be able to compare the differences between european oak and american oak. Anyways, both of them will be released at the state monopoly on the 20th of october and we can expect them to be sold out within seconds!

Ok, let's begin with cask 6403 since that has the lowest ABV of the two!

Cask 6403 front
13yo/cask 6403 Nose:
Very, very, very dark notes going on here… now this is what I would call a heavily sherrymatured whisky! Completely boasting of and/or drowning in dried figs! Oh, also leather! There is also full-fat unwhipped cream, white chocolate (yes white), but there’s also dark raisins that have been dipped in medium dark milk chocolate… very slight or distant touches of something like mint… in the very top register is something very sweet and citric, not really lemonjuice but rather dried slices of lemon and lemon peel that is intermingling perfectly with the sligt touches of alchol. By the way, the strength of this baby is hardly noticeable on the nose. And what about the peat? Well it’s just there somewhere in the background, hardly noticeable, maybe in the form of licorice…

Cask 2121 front (before re-labelling)

14yo/cask 2121 Nose:
Oooh! 2121 is completely different from the previous! It’s also a sherrybomb but not at all in the same way. In this one I’d actually say that we have some very damp notes, something like an underground cellar, reminding me very much of the scents in a warehouse with all the maturing casks… I’m taken straight back to HP-warehouse no.3! Besides those wharehouse-y notes it’s extremely hard to not pick up the huge amounts of vanilla, the honey-infused new make, and most of all, the enormous amounts of heather! Maybe even heather-honey! Yes, heather-honey mixing beautifully with jelly-sweets of peach flavor. The alcohol? Not even noticeable. The peat? Even more distant than in the previous one…

Cask 6403 back

13yo/cask 6403 Taste:
Oh my God (or Thor)! (yelling it straight out sitting here all by myself). Begins quite brown-sugary sweet actually, but then huge wawes of something like ”peated sherry” takes over very quickly! After that everything gets very dry indeed, very quickly. I feel vanilla fudge-cubes, a very interesting mix of mint and evident peat (never felt that mix before…), as well as a mix of leather and cold coffee… Wow, the dryness surely jumps up on you. People, this dram should righteously be described as very, very complex! 

Cask 2121 back (before re-labelling)

14yo/cask 2121 Taste:
Once again, completely different than the previous one! The differences between the european oak in the previous one and the american oak in this one is to say the least, striking! This one also begins sweet but not at all in the sugar-y way, rather in the vanilla way, and that’s vanilla with a big V. Also the vanilla is kind of burnt, and kind of moves towards coffe with very much milk in it, or actually something like coffee liqueur. Other than that we also have so much fruit in this one, such as pear, dried peach and white raisins. This one is also very dry but here the dryness does not hit you that early, it is rather dry predominantly in the aftertaste, moving towards a mix of heather honey, quite bitter liquorice and most of all dry peat mingling with something like earl grey tea. 

To sum up
People, these two whiskies both show off the very high quality of whisky being produced at Highland Park distillery, and the high quality you can attain by picking out single casks. For me, I would of course not say no to owning any of these two bottlings, but my favourite is definietely the 13yo/cask 6403! I hope that I don’t have to choose but that I am lucky enough to get a hold of both bottles, then I could sit for hours and ponder over the fascinating differences between european oak and american oak

Big thanks to the mystery sender, and also, big thanks to my great friend and colleague Stefan for sending me the nice pictures of the two bottles! Please make sure to follow my FB-page by clicking here, and my twitter-page by clicking hereCopyright © and All Rights Reserved on all tasting notes and text by SamuelWhisky and pictures likewise belong to SamuelWhisky, unless stated. If you would like to use any such material that belongs to SamuelWhisky or associated with SamuelWhisky, please ask by sending me an email to samuelkarlssonorebro[at]gmail.com