onsdag 9 juli 2014

Swedish whisky from Hven – 'Sankt Ibb' Single Cask

It's an amazing summer here in Sweden, at least where I am, that is in the archipelago on the east coast of Sweden not far from the town Norrtälje! 

Today I will try something very special that sold out on the same day that it was launched. You guessed it! Swedish single malt from the small island of Hven. The whisky comes from single cask no. 11-217 which gave 273 bottles. The productionprocess of this particular whisky is very special and hard to retell so do take part of the distillerys own words: 

"Sankt Ibb, cask 11-217, is made from barley grown on the coordinates 55°91’N, 12°69’S just outside the distillery. The barley was malted in our pilot plant and the kilning was done with Chinquapin oak from old casks and locally harvested sea weed. After 120 hours fermentation with two different yeast strains, specifically grown to embrace the fruity phenolic character, the wash was gently distilled and the heart was carefully collected. The spirit was laid to rest on a high toast, high char cask made of air dried Quercus Muehlenbergii harvested on the shores of Meramec river. After given its initial character the spirit was transferred to a cask made from air dried Quercus Petraea harvested outside Moulin’s (Allier). This cask was previously used to enhance one of the most rewarded Cabernet Sauvignon/Merlot wines from Italy.This whisky is bottled at the site of the distillery at cask strength 51,4 vol%, without any carbon- or chill filtering, no colour or additives. Completely natural, as should be". 

Swedish summer seen from where I am right now...
Ok, let's see what we got here! 

Wow! This is a dark one, not only in the apperance and the amazing color that is but also on the nose. The first thing I got was a kind of mix of newly ground coffe and arrak almost rhum-esque, there is also dark raisins. At a more deep nosing we also have something that seems to be a great deal herb-ish, in the 2nd or 3rd layer maybe going towards the swiss spirit ’Unicum’ which definitely is there for the first time in a whisky for me… reminiscence of a dark (food)cellar? Just a touch of wood/barell that moulder away (but in a good way of course), in that fragrance we also have a something really citric, like lime or lemon peel. Surrounding all this is a very special dark smoky-ness in a style I’ve never felt before, must be the special peating… Nice! As you understand this is very interesting stuff indeed and I really have no idea what to expect on the palate, let’s see!

Oooh! So incredibly good! Wow, wish I had a whole bottle and not just a sample… Starts off really salty, sea-salt almost. Then moving on into liquorice, and after that a very big and quite bold sea-ish smoke. The coffe and the arrak is definitely there together with the dark dark raisins and dark sluggishly flowing honey. Very rich in mouthfeel and texture. The aftertaste is also rich and big with the ’Unicum’-esque style and the smoke in a beautiful interplay moving back and forth together with a faint touch of woermanns cigarillos no.23 ☺

To sum up, absolutely beautiful and a wonderful experience to taste a swedish single cask whisky!

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