Norrtelje Distillery kindly revealed to me that they were going to release yet another whisky here in Sweden, come the month of march. And about two weeks ago I found a package in my mail box that contained a sample of said new release, yay! This is the distillerys third release of whisky so far at the Swedish state monopoly. The label on the sample bottle gives us the following info about this bottling: Swedish organic unpeated malt was distilled in may of 2013 and on the 7th of april in 2014 was filled into four 30 litre oloroso sherry casks. The whisky was bottled on the 17th of november in 2020 at a cask strength of 46,7% ABV. No filtration or coloring was done.
Having reviewed the whisky I contacted the folks at the distillery for some details and this is a summary of what they shared with me: The organic barley was grown in the landscape of Östergötland and malted by Viking Malt in the city of Halmstad. The sherry casks used are made from european oak. The casks numbers are 29, 30, 31, and 32. While the filling strength of their new make is normally set to 60% ABV, these specific casks were actually filled at 50%, as an experiment. The four casks gave 165 (50cl) bottles in total out of which 140 bottles have been sent to systembolaget (the swedish state monopoly).
The whisky will be released through a so called web launch this Thursday (the 4th of march) and can be viewed by clicking here. Ok friends, below you will find my review!
Starts off on deep (medium heavy) notes of sherry. In the background we have apparent but by no means overpowering yeast with a slight touch of wood (more towards dark oak than new wood). Moving deeper into the nose I find elegant notes of moist dark raisins, a beautiful vibe of raspberry infused almond paste, orange chocolate pralines and/or orange zest with a slight touch of sweet (soft) liquorice candy. At the very bottom I find a malty honey-like vanilla sweetness with a touch of wet forrest leaves. The cask strength of this whisky is the perfect strength to nose and provides a great overall balance.
First impression: nice, second impression: mmm! Starts off on a medium heavy sherry style with a tanninic spicyness and a whiff of new wood that is quickly interrupted by a dry acidity best described as dark sugary lemon juice intermingling with red cocktail berries (Maraschino cherry). Beyond that we have honeydew melon moving into a soft malty sugary sweetness, a touch of slightly salty liquorice and finally a strong note of almond paste. In the aftertaste there is a reminiscence of peat and a slight touch of soft/velvety tar. The cask strength gives perfect balance also to the taste and for me this is a great strength for sipping.
Some reflections to sum up:
This is definitely the best whisky produced by Norrtelje Distillery so far! But it’s not only good from an evolution/progress perspective (meaning: in relation to their previous releases), it is also a good and tasty whisky in and of itself. What we have here is a straightforward unpeated sherry matured whisky with depth, elegance, and lots of interesting stuff to find and enjoy in the layers of both the nose and the taste. And even though the casks have not completely overcome the yeast on the nose I wouldn’t say that it is a disturbing part of the nose. I could find no yeast on the taste and I would definitely say the the casks/maturation do overcome the whiff of new wood in the beginning of the taste. And so, just as I did the last time I reviewed a whisky from Norrtelje Distillery I once again have the pleasure to conclude that they have taken a clear step forward, and this time it’s a big one. And hey, filling the casks with a 50% ABV new make might just be the right path forward!
Finally, a big thanks to the nice people at Norrtelje Distillery for the great opportunity to review also this whisky before it's 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 is 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.