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The concept of Mackmyra was born in the late 1990’s but what began as something of a pipe dream became reality when Sweden’s first whisky distillery opened in 2002. Such was the company’s incredible success, a second distillery had to be commissioned in 2011 in order to cater for the growing demand.
Since the winter of 2013, Mackmyra have released a series of seasonal bottlings that sit alongside their core range. With two releases per year, this innovative succession of drams showcase seasonal characteristics, focusing on unusual cask finishes that reflect the time of year. Previous examples have included the Italian Amarone finished Skordetid, the Calvados finished Appelblom and Vintersol, made in partnership with Port producer Quinto Do Vallado. This was followed early in 2020 by the wonderfully creative Grönt Te, a single malt finished in Oloroso casks that were seasoned with Japanese Green Tea. The latest edition, released to coincide with Autumn 2020 is Jaktlyka, created in association with Grythyttan Vin.
Grythyttan was the brainchild of Per Fritzell, a Norwegian inspired by his Grandmother’s Cloudberry Jam. Taking up residence in the town of Grythyttan, surrounded by dense forests, Per began producing his own wine. More than a decade later, he remains at the helm of the company he now runs with colleague Ingunn Sagabraten. Their products have diversified over the years but one of the most successful is Jakt (Hunt), a wine made from wild blueberries and lingonberries that grow in the forests of Bergslagen in central Sweden.
Using casks that previously held this Jaktlycka (hunting wine), Mackmyra have created a completely unique single malt, said to celebrate the arrival of Autumn to the Swedish woodland. Bottled at 46.1% alcohol by volume, the whisky retails for £60.
*Full disclosure: I was sent this sample free of charge. As always I will strive to give an honest opinion on the inherent quality of the spirit and the value for money it represents.
Smell: Notes of berries and forest fruits are apparent straight away, slight floral note, followed by the apple, honey and malt notes I always seem to pick up from Mackmyra. There’s a nice touch of wood spice too. Sawdust even. Wee bit of toffee. Vanilla.
Taste: Quite a gentle dram at first. It has a delicate quality on the palate. Honeyed oak and cooked apples. Pear. Caramel. Cinnamon and ginger. Raspberry and blueberry. Cranberry. Dry woody finish with sultanas.
Thoughts: Mackmyra have produced some really interesting whiskies in this range and whilst Jaktlyka didn’t blow my mind upon first sip it did evolve over time into an enjoyable dram. A whisky that requires a bit of patience is no bad thing.
A bit of a slow burner. Even came across a little dull to begin with. Over time however the whisky began to relax and show its true colours. Like previous seasonal releases, its unique qualities, in this case berry wine casks, have been kept in check so that the final experience is a nuanced take on the Mackmyra house-style as opposed to a barrage of wine. It all comes together to create a whisky of subtle complexity and satisfying balance.
For more on Mackmyra visit here.