onsdag 26 maj 2021

Swedish Whisky from Smögen Distillery – "Dante", 10 years old!

Dear friends! The day before yesterday I received a package from Pär Caldenby, the Distillery Manager/Master Distiller at Smögen Distillery and to my great joy it contained a trade sample of the first ever 10 year old whisky from the distillery! 

This whisky is a tribute to, and has been namned after, Pärs and the distillerys bloodhound Dante. The text in the picture below is written on the side of the label of the bottle as well as on the side of the box/carton:

This pic belongs to Pär/Smögen Whisky.

The recipe for this whisky is a follows: in april and may 2011 newmake made from lightly peated barley (10-12 ppm) was filled into four 1st-fill Sauternes barriques (french oak, 225 litres each). Three of the casks had been very lightly roasted and one had been roasted to medium/medium plus. In may 2021 the whisky was bottled at cask strength 57,8%. Roughly 1560 bottles have been produced in total out of which 1296 will be available tomorrow at the swedish state monopoly through a so called web-launch. The whisky can be viewed by clicking here.

A part of the beautiful bottle label. Pic belongs to Pär/Smögen Whisky.

Ok, the time has come for some analyzing!

The surface showcases a beautiful mix of subdued lemon peel and yellow raisins! Below, everything is very, very silky and smooth; we have vibrant leather, green mint, barleywater (almost ”porridge” in fact) and thick, creamy almond paste, and mouthwatering white chocolate with an earthy base of vanilla. Wow! Surrounding everything is an incredibly well-rounded and smooth peatyness with just a tad of sweet liquorice bordering on black tea (earl grey style).

Starts off on medium salt-yness and moves on quickly into a brief sugar-y sweetness that in turn transforms into sugar coated lemon sponge cake with a kind of ”dirty” or ”broken” vanilla style to it. The vanilla hides dried grass (on bog) with a hint of sweet sackcloth in the upper register. This then moves on into a dry and somewhat spicy (”hot”) black pepper. It is actually now that the peat makes its entrance, and it is much more heavy than I had expected! The peat and the alcohol fumes rises to the roof of my mouth realeasing dusty sea salt and soft smoke with a tendency towards very light gunpowder. A delightful creamyness with a hint of orange marmalade and ashy pinneaple makes my mouth water and these are the last tastes before everything slowly fades away and calms down leaving the tip of my tounge slightly dry.

Some reflections to sum up:
The nose is very mature and has a depth that I could nose for a very long time. The nose actually feels a lot older than 10 years, perhaps something like 15? The rough style of Smögen whisky really comes through in the taste, especially so in the late tastes and the 10 years on casks has not quite restrained this rough profile. Even though we are talking about lightly peated barley this whisky really tastes like a classic Smögen whisky with lots of ”Character, charisma and quality”, and as mentioned has a lot more peat in it than what I expected based on my impressions from nosing. Tastewise it is very hard to say where the main tastes end and the aftertaste begins. The transitions are really nice and subtle and I’d say that it is precisely this that defines maturity. All in all, regarding maturity, I think that the scents on the nose are more developed and refined (more mature) than the tastes and as previously said, it will take several years on cask to further restrain the tastes of a Smögen Whisky.

Finally, a big thanks to Pär for the great opportunity to review 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.

Pic belongs to/borrowed from systembolaget.se