Showing posts with label Tasting Notes. Show all posts
Showing posts with label Tasting Notes. Show all posts

Waterford Ballymorgan Edition 1.2


“Unfinished Sympathy”


Whisky Review # 998

Country: Ireland ๐Ÿ‡ฎ๐Ÿ‡ช
Region: South-East
Brand: Waterford Ballymorgan Edition 1.2
Type: Single Malt Irish Whisky - Single Farm Origin Series - 30.000 Bottles
Age: 4 Years (2016 - 2020)
Alcohol By Volume (ABV): 50%
Maturation: Mixed Barrels (See Conclusion)
Chill Filtration: No
Price Range: US$ 55-70 (August 2023)
Price/Quality Ratio: ๐Ÿ˜ Borderline okay
Buying Advice: ๐Ÿ˜ There's potential here but it's just too immature

Colour: Pale Gold (Natural Colour)

Nose:

Please give the Waterford a little time in the glass before Nosing to avoid the initial waft of Varnish. With that out of the way you clearly get the Virgin Oak, present in most West-European whiskies. The Nose is Young with various Bakery notes. Lots of Toffee and Vanilla as well as some Sweet and Sour Fruity notes. Not bad but rather underdeveloped. The Alcohol is noticeable but not as strong as you would expect in view of the high ABV.

Main Aromas:

Sweet Barley, German Butter Biscuits, Toffee, Vanilla, Yeast, Bread Dough, Apple-Filled Pastry, Hay, Dusty Track, White Chocolate, Dairy, Sour Berries, Fresh Herbs, Cinnamon and Ginger.
    
Supportive Aroma Accents:

Caramel, Treacle, Farmyard, Floral Perfume, White Port Wine, Artificially-Flavored Candies (Orange, Lemon, Banana), Slivovitz, Varnish, Sweet Tropical Fruit Salad, Oak and Pepper.


Palate:

Young, Thin and slightly Hot. The Cask and its Spices come to the front. It's like soaking White Bread in New Make Spirit and cover it in Spices. It's not bad but it tastes like a semi-finished product.

Main Flavours:

Sweet Barley, Toffee, Vanilla, Dough, Yeast, Fruit-Flavored Candies (Orange, Green Apple, Lemon, Banana, Pear), Sour Berries, Grapefruit, Oak, Pepper, Ginger, Cloves, Nutmeg and Licorice.

Supportive Flavour Accents:

Sugary Honey, Caramel, Floral Perfume, Slivovitz, Milk Chocolate, Leather, Tobacco, Fresh Herbs, Cinnamon and Aniseed.

Finish
:


Middle-Long, quite Hot & a little on the Thin side. Sweet at first but with increasing Bitterness towards the Dry end. The potential is there but this Spirit is very Young & clearly requires some additional Cask time. I find Toasted Barley, Caramel, Vanilla, Toffee, Resin, Varnish, Pastry, Sour Berries, Lemon, Grapefruit, Green Apple, Floral Perfume, Dusty Track, Bounty Candy Bars, Oak, Pepper, Ginger, Nutmeg, Cinnamon, Mint, Licorice and Cloves. Slightly stale Espresso after a while.

Drinking Advice:

A little Water helps to control the Alcohol of course and that's a plus. On the minus side you lose a lot of the Flavours. A few drops can't hurt but don't overdo it.

Rating: 6.5 (******1/2)

Nose: 7 - Taste: 6.5 - Finish: 6

*** Important Note with respect to Rating.

If the Final score is above 8 you can safely buy the whisky in question if and when it fits your Aroma/Flavor profile. If the score is between 6 and 8 you might want to try it out in the form of a sample or if offered at a good price. Anything below 6 should be left alone when you are looking for a nice sipping whisky. You might still like it of course & I realize pricing is an important item for many whisky fans especially when you are used to enjoy whisky in a cocktail or a mixed drink.

Drinking Experience Neat: Okay but way too Young.

Conclusion:

The Waterford distillery is located in the town that bears the same name and was founded in 2014 by former co-owner of Bruichladdich, Mark Reynier. The current production capacity is one million litres. Waterford seems to specialize in organic & biodynamic whisky using local products whenever possible. The Single Farm Origin Series are made with Barley produced on a single farm. In the case of the 1.2 I'm reviewing today the barley was produced by Robert Milne in the County Wexford.

The 1.2 Edition matured in the following very interesting cask combination: 1st Fill Ex-Bourbon Casks (37%), Virgin US Oak (20%), French Oak (23%), Fortified Sweet Wine-Vin Doux Naturel (23%).

The Waterford Distillery took a lot of effort to create something special here. They took Single Farm Barley and matured the Spirit in a variety of casks of good quality. They gave it everything but...Time! Four years is simply not enough and the Virgin Oak and Hot Spices are in full control. And that's a pity because I feel that the full potential of the Fruity Waterford Spirit is there. It just needs to be left alone for at least 12 Years. I really hope to be able to taste a fully matured Waterford in the near future.

Cheers!

Jan van den Ende                                                                         August 3, 2023

Tomatin 2007 (Gordon & MacPhail Discovery)


“So Many Casks So Little Time”


Whisky Review # 997

Country: Scotland ๐Ÿด๓ ง๓ ข๓ ณ๓ ฃ๓ ด๓ ฟ
Region: Highlands
Brand: Tomatin 2007
Matured & Bottled By/For: Gordon & MacPhail - Discovery Series - Bottled: 2018
Type: Single Malt Scotch Whisky
Age: Almost 11 Years
Alcohol By Volume (ABV): 43%
Maturation: First-Fill Ex-Bourbon casks
Chill Filtration: Yes
Price Range: US$ 50-60 (July 2023)
Price/Quality Ratio: ๐Ÿ˜ Okay
Buying Advice: ๐Ÿ˜‘ It's okay but not more than that

Colour: Light Golden (Natural Colour)

Nose:

It's like walking into a Bakery. Dough, Grain, Yeast, Sugar and Butter are all there. It's a Young Spirit by all means and the Alcohol is slightly noticeable. The Nose is not bad and the casks are of good quality. There's some Fruit in the background but all in all it's a bit forgettable.

Main Aromas:

Sweet Barley, German Butter Biscuits, Vanilla, Bounty Candy Bars, Dough, Yeast, Apfel Strudel, Banana Ice Cream, Floral Perfume, Cigar Box and Grass.
    
Supportive Aroma Accents:

Honey, Toffee, Caramel, Demerara Sugar, Lemon, Nectarine, Poire Belle Helene, Cashew Nuts and Peanuts, Cinnamon and Mint.


Palate:

Young, Light but Creamy and mostly Sweet. Nothing that really calls my attention I'm afraid.

Main Flavours:

Sweet Barley, Vanilla, Apfel Strudel, Banana Ice Cream, Bounty Candy Bars, Pine Nuts, Grass, Cigar Box, Cinnamon and Pepper.

Supportive Flavour Accents:

Honey, Demerara Sugar, Buttered Toast with some Marmalade, Nectarine, Lemon, Pineapple, Floral tones, Herbs, Ginger and Mint.


Finish
:


On the Short side and rather Thin despite a Creamy mouthfeel. Mainly Sweet but with some light Bitterness towards the Medium-Dry end. Easily the weakest part of this Tomatin. I find Sweet Barley, Caramel, Vanilla, Buttered Toast, Honey, Nuts Candy Bars, Warm Apple Sauce, Peanut Butter, Pineapple on Heavy Syrup, Floral tones, Fresh Herbs, Lemon, Cigar Box, Cinnamon, Nutmeg, Menthol and Pepper. A little Hot in the aftertaste.

Drinking Advice:

Added Water does not improve this Tomatin.

Rating: 7 (*******)

Nose: 7.5 - Taste: 7 - Finish: 6.5

*** Important Note with respect to Rating.

If the Final score is above 8 you can safely buy the whisky in question if and when it fits your Aroma/Flavor profile. If the score is between 6 and 8 you might want to try it out in the form of a sample or if offered at a good price. Anything below 6 should be left alone when you are looking for a nice sipping whisky. You might still like it of course & I realize pricing is an important item for many whisky fans especially when you are used to enjoy whisky in a cocktail or a mixed drink.

Drinking Experience Neat: Okay

Conclusion:

Tomatin was founded in 1897 by the Tomatin Spey Distillery Company. In 1985 the distillery went into liquidation and was bought in 1987 by Takara Shuzo Co. and Okara & Co, both from Japan which was quite remarkable at that time. In fact, Tomatin was the first Scottish distillery that became fully owned by Japanese companies. Currently the shares are being hold by Takara Shuzo (81%)  Marubeni (14%) and Kokubu (5%). Tomatin has always been a distillery that produced large quantities of Spirit for Blends but in the last 15 years they started to concentrate on producing and marketing Single Malts as well. As a result, the production decreased from well over 10 million litres in the 1970's/1980's to around 1,8 million litres in 2022. They still produce Blends as well though. (Antiquary, Big T and the Talisman). Today's Single Malt core range includes the NAS Legacy, the 12, 18, 30 and 36 years. In 2016, new packaging and bottles were introduced for the entire core range.

I'm a big fan of Gordon & MacPhail and I was looking forward to taste this Tomatin but I have to say that I'm rather disappointed with this Highland Whisky. The idea of the Discovery Series is to let people get acquainted with the most used Cask-types at an affordable price. As such this Tomatin works. The casks are of good quality and the Vanilla shines highlighting the Ex-Bourbon casks. But as a whole it's a rather Thin and uneventful Single Malt that would have benefited from more time in the casks. I know that it would have become more expensive but still....

Cheers!

Jan van den Ende                                                                         July 24, 2023

Glenlivet 21 Years Archive


“Money For Nothing” 


Whisky Review # 996

Country: Scotland ๐Ÿด๓ ง๓ ข๓ ณ๓ ฃ๓ ด๓ ฟ
Region: Speyside
Brand: The Glenlivet Archive - Batch #: Unknown
Type: Single Malt Scotch Whisky
Age: 21 Years
Alcohol By Volume (ABV): 43%
Maturation: Mix of Ex-Bourbon casks and Sherry Butts
Chill Filtration: Yes
Price Range: US$ 170-200 (July 2023)
Price/Quality Ratio: ๐Ÿ‘Ž Too expensive for what it offers
Buying Advice: ๐Ÿ‘Ž Go for the 18 Years instead

Colour: Golden Amber (Natural Colour)

Nose:

Please give this 21 Years some time in the glass before Nosing. This way you will allow the Aromas to develop and avoid the initial waft of Varnish. The Nose is a bit on the Thin side for such a mature Malt suggesting Re-Fill casks in the mix. There are certainly an important number of Sherried casks in the mix as well as Dark Red Fruit, Dried Fruit and Nuts lead the way. It certainly evokes memories of X-Mas cakes. The Alcohol is well-integrated here. It's not bad at all but somehow you would expect more of a 21 Year-Old Single Malt at this price level.

Main Aromas:

Sweet Barley, Buttered Toast, Brown Sugar, slightly Burnt Caramel, Wax, X-Mas Pudding, Dried Fruit like Raisins, Sultanas, Apricots, Plums and Figs, Mixed Nuts, Dark Chocolate, Oak, Citrus Peel, Cinnamon, Ginger, Mint and hints of Tropical Fruits.
    
Supportive Aroma Accents:

Honey, Toffee, Vanilla, Nougat, Marzipan, Wet Stones, Varnish, Dark Berries and Cherries, Unripe Apples and Pears, Floral Soap, Dusty Road, Tobacco, Herbal Tea, Leather, Pepper and Cloves.


Palate:

Too Thin for this age and price-level. The Casks, Cask-Spices and Alcohol become more noticeable. The slightly Dry palate offers a balanced mix of Bitter, Sweet and Sour notes.

Main Flavours:

Toasted Barley, Brown Sugar, X-Mas Cake, Dried Fruit like Raisins, Plums, Apples, Apricots and Bananas, Dark Berries and Cherries, Mixed Nuts, Floral Soap, Dark Chocolate, Oak, Pepper, Ginger, Cinnamon and Nutmeg.

Supportive Flavour Accents:

Honey, Vanilla, Marzipan, Nougat, Wet Stones, Orange Peel, Tropical Fruit, Herbal Tea, Leather, Tobacco, Grapefruit, Espresso, Cloves, Aniseed, Licorice, Menthol & a Green note I can't quite place.


Finish
:


Thin, Bitter-Sweet and on the Short side. Some Sour and Peppery notes develop towards the Medium-Dry end. I find Toasted Barley, Brown Sugar, Caramel,Treacle, Dried Fruit like Raisins, Plums, Apples and Banana, slightly Sour Red Berries and Cherries, Honey, Caramel, Orange Peel, Resin, Oak, Dark Chocolate, Espresso and Spices like Pepper, Cinnamon, Ginger, Cloves and Nutmeg, Licorice, Mint, Herbal Tea and Grapefruit Juice. The Oak and Oak Spices are (too) prominent suggesting that this Glenlivet Spirit has overstayed its time in the casks.

Drinking Advice:

Added Water does not improve this Glenlivet. It's already too Thin as presented.

Rating: 7.5 (*******1/2)

Nose: 7.5 - Taste: 7.5 - Finish: 7

*** Important Note with respect to Rating.

If the Final score is above 8 you can safely buy the whisky in question if and when it fits your Aroma/Flavor profile. If the score is between 6 and 8 you might want to try it out in the form of a sample or if offered at a good price. Anything below 6 should be left alone when you are looking for a nice sipping whisky. You might still like it of course & I realize pricing is an important item for many whisky fans especially when you are used to enjoy whisky in a cocktail or a mixed drink.

Drinking Experience Neat: Good

Conclusion:

The Glenlivet Distillery is located in Ballindalloch (Banfshire) and was founded in 1824 by George Smith. Since 2001 it is owned by Chivas Brothers Pernod Ricard In 2018 a new production extension became operational that has increased the production to around 21 million litres making it the largest Single Malt distillery in Scotland. The Core range includes The Founder's Reserve (NAS), the 12, 15, 18 and 21 Years as well as the XXV and the Captain's Reserve.

The Glenlivet distillery is huge but most of their Single Malts are unspectacular & very Main-Stream. That is alright of course if you like that type of Whisky and can get it at a reasonable price. But that's exactly where this 21 Years goes awry. It's unspectacular and very Main-Stream but it comes with a hefty price tag. Not to mention the facts that it's Chill-Filtered and is bottled at a worrisome 43% that leaves this Single Malt way too Thin. I therefore advise you to leave this 21 Years alone and buy the 18 Years instead if you like this Aroma and Flavour profile.

*PS: Quality and type of casks used may vary from Batch to Batch.

Cheers!

Jan van den Ende                                                                         July 13, 2023

Bruichladdich Octomore 11.1


“The Peat Is On”


Whisky Review # 995

Country: Scotland ๐Ÿด๓ ง๓ ข๓ ณ๓ ฃ๓ ด๓ ฟ
Region: Islay
Brand: Bruichladdich Octomore 11.1 (139.6 PPM) - Distilled: 2014
Type: Single Malt Scotch Whisky -  Bottled: 2020 - Bottles: 30.000
Age: 5 Years
Alcohol By Volume (ABV): 59.4% (Cask Strength)
Maturation: First Fill Ex-Bourbon casks (Jack Daniels, Jim Beam, Heaven Hill)
Chill Filtration: No
Price Range: US$ 140-180 (July 2023)
Price/Quality Ratio: ๐Ÿ‘Ž Too expensive for such a Young Malt.
Buying Advice: ๐Ÿ˜ Look for cheaper alternatives like Kilchoman.

Colour:

Pale Straw/White Wine (Natural Color)

Nose:

Young and a little Thin despite the High ABV. The Peat & Smoke are there of course but certainly not in an overwhelming way. Be sure to give the 11.1 some time in the glass though in order to develop the other Aromas. The Alcohol is noticeable but not in a bad way. The Nose is a slightly modest mix of Sweet, Salty, Yeasty and Coastal notes.

Main Aromas:

Sweet Toasted Barley, Slightly Burnt Buttered Toast, Vanilla, Yeast, Dough, Wet Clay and Campfire Smoke, Ashes, Smoked Fish on the BBQ sprinkled with Lemon & Salt, Apple, Pear, Banana, Red Berries, Cinnamon and Ginger.   

Supportive Aroma Accents:

Honey, Brown Sugar, Wax, Soot, Burnt Grass & Heather, Dried Herbs, German Raw Smoked Ham (Schwarzwald), Orange, Grapefruit, Papaya Cream, Apricot-Flavored Yogurt, Burnt Rubber, Cooked Vegetables and Cow Shed.


Palate:

Young, Bitter-Sweet, a little Hot and Nervous and quite Dry. The Smoke & Peat are much more pronounced now. The Alcohol is also more present. It's not bad but it lacks Balance and Maturation.

Main Flavours:

Toasted Barley, Vanilla, Burnt Caramel, Campfire Smoke, Wet Peat, Ashes, Smoked Fish & Bacon on the BBQ sprinkled with Lemon, Curry & Salt, Red Apple, Banana, Pear, Charred Oak, Dark Chocolate, Pepper, Ginger, Nutmeg and Cloves.  

Supportive Flavour Accents:

Honey, slightly Burnt Buttered Toast, Soot, Yeast, Wet Rock, Herbal Liqueur, Mixed Roasted Nuts, Dried Fruit, Grapefruit, Peach, Burnt Grass, Cinnamon and Tobacco. 


Finish:

In general Middle Long although the Ashes will remain in your throat for a good deal more. It's Sweet at first with developing Bitterness towards the Dry end. It's a rather Young Malt and it shows here. Slightly Hot and Peppery as well. The Alcohol really makes itself known and Smoke and Peat are in control now. I also find Sweet Malt, Burnt Caramel, Vanilla, Honey, Ashes, Soot, Smoked Fish and Meat on the BBQ sprinkled with Salt, Curry and Lemon, Herbal Liqueur, Red Apple, Grapefruit, Mixed Roasted Nuts and Dried Fruit, Dark Chocolate, Charred Oak, Tobacco, Pepper, Cloves, Nutmeg and Ginger. Some Burnt Rubber Tires after a while.  

Drinking Advice:

I added a little Water and that helps control the Alcohol of course. The Citrus Fruit develops and notes of Sugar Cane Juice and Rum appear. You should try this both ways.

Rating: 7.5 (*******1/2) 

Nose: 7.5 - Taste: 8 - Finish: 7 

*** Important Note with respect to Rating.

If the Final score is above 8 you can safely buy the whisky in question if and when it fits your Aroma/Flavor profile. If the score is between 6 and 8 you might want to try it out in the form of a sample or if offered at a good price. Anything below 6 should be left alone when you are looking for a nice sipping whisky. You might still like it of course & I realize pricing is an important item for many whisky fans especially when you are used to enjoy whisky in a cocktail or a mixed drink.

Drinking Experience Neat
: Good but quite Young.

Conclusion:

Bruichladdich was founded in 1881 by Barnett Harvey. During its history it was mothballed various times, the last time in 1998. In 2012 the Islay distillery was bought by Remy Cointreau (France). Since, Bruichladdich is showing a healthy growth again. The distillery produces 3 types of Single Malt, i.e. the unpeated Bruichladdich & the heavily peated Port Charlotte & Octomore. The basic core range includes the Classic Laddie and a 10-year old Port Charlotte. The annual production amounts to around 1.3 million litres. About 10% of that is Octomore. Octomore by the way means " The Big Eighth". This is a medieval division of common ground.

The Octomore 11.1 was made with 100% Scottish Barley (Concerto and Propeno) of the 2013 Harvest.

The 11.1 is not really bad but is certainly not the best Octomore I have tasted so far. Out of my head the 7.2 and 8.2 were among my favorites. Except on the Nose, the 11.1 can't hide its Youth and works a little raw and un-balanced in places. It's not a strong Peat-Monster despite the 139.6 PPM. Octomore is quite expensive and the 11.1 is no exception. It's simply too expensive for what it offers and I would advise you to look elsewhere if you like young Islay Malt. Ardbeg, Kilchoman and Peat's Beast come to mind.

Cheers!

Jan van den Ende                                                                         July 10, 2023

All pictures were taken during our visit in May 2014

Balvenie The Creation of a Classic


“Being Boring”


Whisky Review # 994

Country: Scotland ๐Ÿด๓ ง๓ ข๓ ณ๓ ฃ๓ ด๓ ฟ
Region: Speyside
Brand: Balvenie The Creation of a Classic - Original Cask Finish Series
Type: Single Scotch Whisky
Age: NAS
Alcohol By Volume (ABV): 43%
Maturation: Ex-Bourbon Barrel with finish in Oloroso-Sherried European Oak 
Chill Filtration: Yes
Price Range: US$ 60-100 (June 2023)
Price/Quality Ratio: ๐Ÿ˜ Okay at around US$ 60. It's not worth much more.
Buying Advice: ๐Ÿ˜‘ Too boring for me but if you're into Mainstream Malt, go for it! 

Colour: Golden Amber (Artificially Coloured)

Nose:

Relatively Young, Light & Sweet. A few Sour notes in the background. Not bad but a bit unassuming. Quite mainstream. It won't offend anybody but there's certainly no Wow factor as well.

Main Aromas:

Sweet Barley, Buttered Toast, Vanilla, Straw, Sweet Apple, Orange, Nectarine, Sour Red Grapes, Dusty Track, Oak and Wood Chips, Ginger and Cloves.       
    
Supportive Aroma Accents:

Honey, Caramel, Pancakes sprinkled with Syrup, Ripe Banana, Sultanas, Raisins,  Plums, Waxed Furniture, Green Tea, Pastry Dough and hints of Milk Chocolate and Tobacco. 


Palate:

Light, Young and Bitter Sweet. Quite Dry. The Alcohol starts popping up. Typical Middle of the Road Mainstream Duty Free Malt. It's not really bad but it doesn't do a thing for me. 

Main Flavours:

Sweet Malt, Vanilla, Caramel, Toffee, Sweet Apple, Dried Apricot, Orange, Oak, Pepper,  Cinnamon, Ginger and Menthol.  

Supportive Flavour Accents:

Honey, Sultanas, Raisins, Pancakes with Syrup, Nectarine, Bounty Bars, Espresso, Herbal Tea, Nutmeg and Cloves. 

Finish
:


Middle-Long. Sweet at first but with increasing Bitter notes towards the Dry end. It misses Volume & this Balvenie can't hide its Youth. The Alcohol becomes noticeable as well. I also find Sweet Barley, Vanilla, Caramel, Toffee, Honey, Sweet Apple and Orange, Nectarine, Oak, Pepper, Cinnamon, Ginger, Cloves and lots of Menthol. 

Drinking Advice:

With Water it becomes quite Malty on the Nose. Peach and Rose-Water appear. The Palate starts to taste like Cardhu and/or JW and in the Finish you'll get even more Menthol. Try it out both ways!

Rating: 7 (*******)

Nose: 7 - Taste: 7 - Finish: 6.5  

*** Important Note with respect to Rating.

If the Final score is above 8 you can safely buy the whisky in question if and when it fits your Aroma/Flavor profile. If the score is between 6 and 8 you might want to try it out in the form of a sample or if offered at a good price. Anything below 6 should be left alone when you are looking for a nice sipping whisky. You might still like it of course & I realize pricing is an important item for many whisky fans especially when you are used to enjoy whisky in a cocktail or a mixed drink.

Drinking Experience Neat: Okay/Good. Very Mainstream.

Conclusion:

The Balvenie distillery was founded in 1892 by William Grant in Dufftown, Keith, Banffshire. Production started in 1893. It's still in the hands of William Grant & Sons. They have an extensive core range that includes the 12 Doublewood, the 14 Caribbean Cask, the 15 Years Sherry Cask and the Portwood 21. We tried to visit the distillery in 2014 & 2019 but both times it was closed for maintenance. Balvenie is currently ranked nr. 6 in the list of world wide Single Malt sales. Current annual production amounts to around 6,5 million litres.

This Single Malt was made to remember the fact that the Balvenie Malt Master David C. Stewart back in the 70's and 80's was the first Malt Master to Finish a Single Malt in different casks from the one it initially matured in. Nowadays almost all distilleries follow this idea. David now considers well-earned retirement after well over 50 years with the distillery.

Those of you who follow my posts on a regular basis know that I'm not a fan of the Modern Mainstream Malt. Almost like M & M's but I like those! I think this Balvenie is quite okay for beginning Malt adepts as it does nothing to deeply offend your Nose and Palate. But if you're into Single Malt for a number of years now you will get bored when sipping this. Nothing exciting going on. The silent majority of Malt these days I'm afraid. Nice presentation and bottle though! 

Cheers!

Jan van den Ende                                                                           June 29, 2023

Mackmyra Bjorksav


“Green Green Grass of Home”


Whisky Review # 993

Country: Sweden ๐Ÿ‡ธ๐Ÿ‡ช
Region: Norrland
Brand: Mackmyra Bjorksav - Sasongswhisky Series - Limited Edition - 15000 Bottles
Type: Single Malt Whisky
Age: NAS
Alcohol By Volume (ABV): 46.1%
Maturation: Mixed Casks (See Conclusion)
Chill Filtration: No
Price Range: US$ 50-65 (June 2023)
Price/Quality Ratio: ๐Ÿ‘
Buying Advice: ๐Ÿ˜‰ Not for everyday but certainly nice to enjoy once in a while

Colour: Golden Sunlight (Natural Colour)

Nose:

I never have had the pleasure of tasting Birch Sap. But there is certainly a "Green" feeling to this Mackmyra. I also notice the presence of New Oak, probably Swedish in this case. The Nose is a mix of Sweet and Sour notes. It's like entering a Candy Shop in the middle of a forest. Fresh and Different! The Alcohol is noticeable but does not interfere with the Nosing procedures.

Main Aromas:

Barley Sugar, Vanilla, Honey,  Grass & Green Plants, Pine Resin, Yeast, Green Apple, Sour Berries like Gooseberries, Fruit-Flavored Candies (Melon, Strawberry, Lemon, Cherry), Forest Floor and Mint.
    
Supportive Aroma Accents:

Toffee, Caramel, Brown Sugar, Buttered Toast, Wax, Unripe Pear, Plum Wine, Fresh Herbs, Nectarine, Oak, Cinnamon, Nutmeg, Aniseed and Varnish.


Palate:

Fresh, Clean, Green and relatively Young. A mix of Bitter, Sweet, Sour and Mineral notes. Developing Dryness. It's different but certainly not unpleasant. The Alcohol is noticeable.

Main Flavours:

Barley Sugar, Vanilla, Butter, Pine Resin, Fruit-Flavored Candies (Strawberry, Green Apple, Melon, Lemon, Banana, Pear), Sour Berries, Grass & Green Plants, Forest Floor, Oak, Pepper, Ginger, Menthol and Mint.

Supportive Flavour Accents:

Honey, Caramel, Brown Sugar, Syrup, Dough, Yeast, Nectarine, Bitter Almonds, Milk Chocolate, Wet Pebbles, Green Herbs, Aniseed, Nutmeg, Cardamom and Varnish.

Finish
:


Middle-Long, Fresh, Light, Clean & Green. Sweet at first but with developing Bitter notes towards the Dry end. The Alcohol remains noticeable. I find Barley Sugar, Vanilla, Butter, Fruit-Flavored Candies (Melon, Lemon, Pear, Green Apple), Honey, Grass and Green Plants, Sour Berries, Green Herbs, Wet Pebbles, Bitter Almonds, Oak, Pepper, Cinnamon, Ginger, Cardamom, Aniseed, Menthol, Mint and Varnish.

Drinking Advice:

A little added water enhances the Barley & the Fruit on the Nose. The Alcohol fades away on the Palate and you get a lot of Menthol in the Finish. Nice to try it out both ways though.

Rating: 7.5 (*******1/2)

Nose: 7.5 - Taste: 7.5 - Finish: 7

*** Important Note with respect to Rating.

If the Final score is above 8 you can safely buy the whisky in question if and when it fits your Aroma/Flavor profile. If the score is between 6 and 8 you might want to try it out in the form of a sample or if offered at a good price. Anything below 6 should be left alone when you are looking for a nice sipping whisky. You might still like it of course & I realize pricing is an important item for many whisky fans especially when you are used to enjoy whisky in a cocktail or a mixed drink.

Drinking Experience Neat: Good and certainly different.

Conclusion:

The Bjorksav (Birch Sap) was released in the spring of 2021. It matures in a mix of Ex-Bourbon casks (30%),Oloroso-Seasoned American Oak (24%) and Birch Sap- Seasoned Swedish (8%) and American Oak (20%). The remaining 18% is Whisky aged in non-specified other types of Seasoned casks. The casks vary in size as well. The Bjorksav was inspired by the long-awaited return of Spring. The Birch sap can only be harvested in the beginning of the Spring to avoid Bitterness. Mackmyra uses Birch Wine from local producer Grythyttan owned and run by the brothers Per and Ingunn who seek to highlight the taste of the Nordic forests.

This is most certainly the "greenest" Whisky I have tasted so far. Mackmyra has put a lot of effort in assembling this Single Malt and the result is certainly worth the try. I can imagine enjoying this on sunny days in the garden. It's quite different when compared to your average Scotch Single Malt & it might not be to everyone's liking. I would certainly advise you to try a sample first before buying a full bottle. But fortune favors the brave and as such Mackmyra's future looks sunny. Just like this Bjorksav.

Cheers!

Jan van den Ende                                                                           June 20, 2023