torsdag 9 april 2020

Swedish Distillery Agitator Whiskymakare – two drafts for core range!

Dear friends, followers and supporters alike! About a month ago I received a package from my friends at swedish distillery Agitator Whiskymakare. As you hopefully know by now I'm very happy to be engaged in a joint project together with Agitator, namely a cask collaboration. But before reading on, please do read up on what makes Agitator such a unique whisky distillery by clicking here, and to read up on what our collaboration entails please click here

So, the package contained two samples, both of them are be viewed as drafts for two core range bottlings. The first one is marked "Husmalt" (which is probably best translated into house style). The second one is marked "Rökmalt" (which translates to peated malt). 

Even though master distiller Oskar and distillery technician Christian are friends of mine and the distillery is, to say the least, close to my heart, the only information I have received about these samples are the following: 

The Husmalt draft has been composed from spirit distilled in both the High Reflux-stills and the Low Reflux-stills, has been matured for 13 months, and has been bottled at 46%. 

The Rökmalt draft has been composed from spirit distilled in the Low Reflux-stills only, has been matured for 13 months, and has been bottled at 46%. 

That's it folks. So let's see what kind of styles of whisky Oskar and Christian have in mind for the core range!

Husmalt – nose:
In the first layer I find honey sweetness and medium-sweet vanilla (kind of a light touch of vanilla cigarillo actually). The first layer and the vanilla in it is very light. I nose closer to the glass and in the second layer I first find smooth milk chocolate and coockie dough with lots of butter in it. But below that are some rather big notes; definitely a feel of medium-heavy peat, earthy peat in fact, soil, and moss, but there is also something fruity, pan fried lemon slices comes to mind. The body is medium big and the alcohol at it’s 46% ABV lurks perfectly below, hardly springing to mind. This 13 months old spirit smells rather like 8yo. No yeast, no fusel, nothing young. Just mature. To me, stylewise, this noses rather close to the NAS-version of Tyrconnell.

Rökmalt – nose:
While the previous had Tyrconnell on the nose, this one noses like a mix of Connemara and Caol Ila. Below the obvious vanilla sweetness in the top layer we also have white chocolate and something moving slightly towards mint leaves (in the distant) and just a tad of lemon jucie. This one has a lot more body, I’d definitely say it’s full bodied. In the second layer we have sharp salty yet chocolate-y peat, rather heavy peat with touches of gunpowder and ashes. The alcohol is a tad more noticeable in this one and calls for my attention. Here 13 months smells more like 5-7yo. Again no yeast. The gunpowder can however be associated with ”fusel”, and while it does not at all seem young the nose reveals that this should be a ”punch-in-the-face” kind of a dram.

The color of Husmalt
Husmalt – taste:
Starts off on a salty-ness, moves on swiftly into dry milk chocolate, dark vanilla fudge cubes, lightly burnt peat swooshes by, and then it’s on to a touch of light vanilla. After this the light peat returns for a second wave which morphs into a sherry maturation style combined with a slight touch (a sensation) of mulled wine (glögg) and likewise a slight touch of redcurrants. In the aftertaste there is almond paste and my chest feels warm. When the taste fades away my mouth is left with just a tad of dryness. The taste is, as is noticeable from my notes, quite complex indeed. From this perspective the dram is mature and shows no signs of being as young as it actually is. The immediate taste is however quite ”fast”, lasting somewhere between 45 seconds to 1 minute. And so, if the young age of 13 months is visible somewhere it is in the aspect of length of taste. 

The color of Rökmalt
Rökmalt – taste:
Oh gosh! A direct copy of some of the stuff from the nose; after a start on evident sea salt we have robust gunpowder and ashes intermingling with big peat. We also have the innertube of a bicycle tire. After that we have evident mint, peated lemon curd moving on into peated white chocolate vanilla, and in fact there is also some regular milk chocolate lurking around somewhere in the mix. Judging from it’s nose I thought that this would be a ”punch-in-the-face” kind of a dram. I was however deceived; all in all this is a quite soft/mellow dram and the alcohol is close to perfectly integrated and only shows itself slightly through a cough almost happening. The body is bigger in this one compared to the previous and it tastes even more mature. This is also transferred into a longer immediate taste, say 1,5 minutes to 2 minutes. The afteratste fades away with mellow peat and soft milk chocolate.

To sum up:
Given our joint cask collaboration project and the fact that I've visited the distillery a number of times now, I've been very lucky indeed to taste quite a lot of maturing spirit from Agitator before, including following the progress of "my" casks. Still, every time I taste their maturing spirit I'm always struck by how incredibly fast the spirit is maturing. And as noticeable from my tasting notes these two drafts are no exception. So to sum up I'm very confident in saying that if Oskar and Christian would want to bottle some of this stuff as soon as it is 3yo, the really could and you would all be amazed by the fact that the whisky was not older than that. And my fellow bloggers Tjeders Whisky, Whiskytower, and Sinnen och Nyanser seems to be thinking along the same lines in their reviews of these samples!

Finally, big thanks to Oskar and Christian for the great opportunity to taste and review these samples! 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 when permission is granted by stating the source.

The vacuum-stills of Agitator