Dear friends, followers and supporters alike, SamuelWhisky is back with yet another review, and this time it's a whisky from the ever exciting Swedish distillery Smögen! When working the Linköping Whiskyexpo a little more than two weeks ago, Pär Caldenby (the Distillery Manager/Master Distiller of Smögen Distillery) passed by the Edrington stand, upon which I asked if he had any upcoming products that he wanted me to review. To this he replied: "I brought our two upcoming single casks, so just pop by". Believe me, those words were music to my ears.
Now, the one of these bottlings that I share my tasting notes of with you today is "Edition no.7 – Single Cask 57/2011". On the 2nd of december 2011 an ex Makers Mark (1st-fill) bourbon barrel was filled with (according to Pär himself) nearly 200 litres of heavily peated Smögen New Make and left to mature until it was bottled in january this year, hence making the whisky 7 years old. The whisky was bottled at natural cask strength of 62,2% ABV. The cask gave 327 bottles out of which 288 will be released through a so called web-release at the swedish state monopoly tomorrow (the 28th of february). Please view the product by clicking here. Ok, let's see what we've got!
When I pour a dram from the sample, and it gets some time to breathe in the glass, peat, soft vanilla and overtones of citrus immidiately spreads throughout the room. Doing some initial nosing after five minutes of airing, my nose says ”the ABV is high”, and I discover evident but mellow notes of orange peel and cut up slices of ginger, but, most of all a beautiful deep peat. It’s a peatyness that says sweat-y leather, and there is definitely more peat than there is ”smoke”. Furthermore I detect melted butter at room temperature (reminiscent of the swedish cookies ”kola kakor”), a chocolate bar swishes by (very light milk chocolate), and in the far distance there is freshly manufactured and wonderfully soft vanilla fudge. Even deeper in the scent is something slightly reminding me of a combination of on the one hand arrack infused with juice from overripe pears and on the other hand a slight touch of baking yeast simmering in luke warm water. While writing all of this I can’t help but noticing how many times my brain has thought: ”The peat-yness really reminds me of the peat-yness in a young and in-your-face Laphroaig!”.
Mmm! Instantly salty and peaty in a beautiful mix! There is something in the saltyness that makes me think both of salt liquorice (hard candy) and of something violet-esque… very yummie! The strength does not at all get as much attention on the taste as it did on the nose. It seems to me that the main development of flavours happens in the ”middle registre” or layer of the taste, very malty, very chewy, very more-ish but quite quickly moving on into peated almonds and hay (meaning farmyard). And would you look at that, the violet returns! But most of all does the mellow notes of orange peel return, but this time drawing more on old lemon peel actually. The early aftertaste has a little punch and bite to it that kind of says black pepper. My mouth goes medium dry but then the waters/saliva starts flowing on and on… something leather-y in combination with a sweet cigarillo calls for attention and rises to the roof of my mouth at the end of the aftertaste.
Some reflections to sum up:
I wish that my skills to detect flavours on the taste were as good as my nosing skills. Or maybe in this dram the different characteristics of the nose is ”more developed” and mature than the characteristics of the taste? Pondering about this dilemma, I’d however say that this definitely is a very mature dram and at the same time I’d say that the taste of a bourbon matured Smögen might develope and become more complex with just a little more time in the cask. The future will show! Finally, as I mentioned this dram was very Laphroaig-y on the nose but on the taste it has more focus on the malty side of things. Anyways, soo very interesting to taste an, in the context, ”old” Smögen as this is; now it has reached such age that I actually don’t really think about the age anymore, and all in all everything starts to get very, very yummie! Well done Pär, well done indeed!
Finally, big thanks to Pär for the great opportunity to review this whisky before its release! For kind of weekly updates please make sure to follow my FB-page by clicking here, my instagram 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 and videos 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 [dot] com and by stating the source.
|Pic belongs to Smögen Distillery|