Mackmyra Motorhead Review

“Ace of Spades Meets The Dancing Queen” 

Whisky Review # 645

Country: Sweden
Brand: Mackmyra Motorhead (Limited Edition - Batch # 1)
Type: Single Malt Whisky
Age: NAS (Around 5 Years)
Alcohol By Volume (ABV): 40%
Maturation: Bourbon casks with Partial Sherry Finish  
Chill Filtration: Yes  
Price Range: US$ 65-80 (September 2017) 
Buying Advice: 😐 Neutral. Nice Mackmyra. Expensive for a 5 Year old!

Colour: Golden Amber (Natural Colour)

Nose: I immediately get the Aroma of the New Wood that is quite characteristic for West-European mainland Whisky. Light Resin, Alcohol and Varnish are there as well but not in a very aggressive way. I also find Freshly baked Croissant, Salted Butter, Butterkekse (German Butter Biscuits), Toasted Cereals, Caramel, Toffee, Honey, Sugared Almonds, Vanilla, Hay, Dried Fruit/Nuts mix, Dried and Fresh Herbs, Lemon, Aniseed and some faint hints of Green Tobacco, Tutti Frutti Bubble Gum and Freshly printed Newspaper. On the Nose, Motorhead is mostly Sweet with some Sour and Herbal notes. The First-Fill American Oak barrels lead the way but the Sherry cask finish is noticeable as well and slightly masks the youth of the Spirit. The Nose is certainly not unpleasant although it's more Abba than Motorhead. 

Palate: The Youth of the Spirit is more noticeable now. And so is the Alcohol. But fortunately it doesn't get out of control. On the Palate, Motorhead is Sweet, Herbal and slightly Spicy. I find Toasted Barley, Toffee, Caramel, Vanilla, Hay, Almonds, Lemon, Raisins, Honey, Orchard Fruit, Dried and Fresh Herbs, light Aniseed, Menthol, Pepper, Ginger, Cloves and Toasted Oak. Abba is gone and Motorhead takes control!

Finish: Middle-Long, Sweet, Herbal, slightly Hot and Spicy. Dry towards the end with a light Metallic note that will please Motorhead fans😜. I also find Sweet Barley, Vanilla, Toffee, Salted Caramel, Raisins, Lemon-Flavoured Herbal Tea, Grass, Toasted Oak, Pepper, Ginger, Cloves, light Aniseed, light Menthol, light Varnish and hints of Green Tobacco.

Drinking Advice:

The Motorhead does not improve with added Water. Better sip it neat.

Rating: 80.5 

Nose: 20.5 - Taste: 20 - Finish: 20 - Overall: 20.5

General Remarks:

🏣   The Distillery and Today's Whisky:

The first Mackmyra distillery was founded in 1999. In 2012 a new distillery started production. It is located just outside Gavle, only a few miles away from the first distillery. The new structure is one of the highest in its kind and follows the gravity model where the production process starts on the upper floor and works it way downwards. This process decreases energy costs by almost 45%. The owners (Mackmyra Svensk Whisky AB) suffered some financial problems in 2014, probably as a result of the huge investment in the new distillery. As a result production went down considerably. But it seems that the situation is back under control now and the future looks bright. 

The British Rock/Heavy Metal Band Motorhead was formed in June 1975. In 2015 it celebrated its 40th Anniversary. To commemorate this achievement the Motorhead Whisky was released in collaboration with beverage partner Brands for Fans and the Mackmyra distillery. The band most likely choose Mackmyra because drummer Mikkey Dee hales from Sweden. Apparently the band played an active role in choosing the casks and the subsequent blending process. 2015 was to be a year of celebration but unfortunately Motorhead's founder and lead- vocalist/bass player Ian "Lemmy" Kilmister died from cancer on December 28, 2015. The following day the two other band members confirmed that Motorhead would not continue.

Mackmyra Stills (Picture Credit: Petr Dudin)

🍷  The Spirit:

The new distillery has one pair of Stills. The Lyne arms have a slight downwards angle. With the exception of the yeast, all raw materials are sourced within an area of 75 miles around the distillery. The water is filtered naturally before being sterilised with a high-intensity UV light. The distillation process is very slow creating a full, mature Spirit.

🌲  The Wood:

The Spirit used for this Whisky basically matured in new First-Fill American Oak Barrels. A small part of the Whisky was finished in Ex-Oloroso casks during the last 6 months before being re-married with the remaining Spirit before bottling.

Drinking Experience: Good


When Nosing and Tasting European mainland Whiskies you should really switch off your Scotch references. In my opinion these mainland Whiskies have their own Aroma and Flavour profile and should be judged as such. In doing so I find this Motorhead quite enjoyable despite the fact that it's Young and dominated by the New Wood. It's easier to enjoy this type of Whisky if you're into Bourbon. On the Nose, this Mackmyra is more like Pop Music but on the Palate and in the Finish it's Sharper and Edgy and even presents a slight (Heavy) Metal note. This Whisky was not really "Born to Raise Hell" but I'm sure it will please Motorhead fans nevertheless as it was created to honour the musical legacy of this famous band. 

Jan van den Ende                                                            September 21, 2017

Mackmyra Gravity Distillery, Gavde (Picture Credit: Robin Hayes)

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