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Mackmyra was the first whisky distillery in Sweden. When a group of friends concluded that there was no reason for the country not to have one, they decided to create it themselves. Their vision was rewarded with a business that seemingly goes from strength to strength. They even had to build a second, larger distillery in order to keep up with demand.
For the most part, Mackmyra followed the Scottish approach to whisky production as their foundation, before adding uniquely Swedish touches in order to make it their own. They favour local ingredients from barley to peat and juniper twigs that help to smoke the malt. A portion of the spirit is even matured in Swedish oak.
Complimenting a solid core range of different expressions, Mackmyra have produced a series of seasonal releases, inspired by the changing seasons of their Scandinavian home. Every now and again however, an unusual cask comes along that will be bottled as part of the “Moments” series.
Moments was the brainchild of master distiller Angela D’Orazio. Feeling it would be a shame to use such exceptional whiskies in larger vattings where their unusual character would be diluted, Angela created Moments to showcase the most unique of Mackmyra malts. The range launched in 2010, packaged in bottles engraved with metal plaques that featured specific colour schemes.
Released back in 2017, Prestige is an 11 year old single malt aged in French oak casks that once held wine from the artisanal champagne producer Philipponnat. The Philipponnat family have been producing wine in the Champagne region of France since the 1500’s and their family were suppliers to the court of Louis XIV in the late 17th century. That family legacy has passed down through generations, a long line of men and women who still remain the custodians of the centuries old philosophy today.
Mackmyra Moments Prestige is made up of two parcels of whisky. The first matured from 2006 – 2017 while the second aged from 2004 – 2017. Bottled at 46.1% it retails at £90.
Smell: Lots of spicy oak at first but soon settles down to reveal some creamy vanilla. There’s also honey and almond and some malty bread. An earthy, vegetal note too.
Taste: Madeira cake. More honey. Apple juice. Orange zest. Pear. Toffee. Butterscotch. Lots of woody spice before the dry finish.
Thoughts: I generally find Mackmyra’s range to be pretty well priced but we’re looking at one of their more expensive offerings here. It isn’t a blow-your-mind-with-one-sip kind of dram which is what some might expect for £90. Instead it is unusual and complex and takes some time to fully understand. Sometimes those are the most rewarding experiences, however.
Sometimes you feel like you’ve pinned a whisky down after one sip. Others take much longer to decipher. Where Prestige was concerned I was impressed with the way it evolved over time. Repeat visits seemed to unveil new characteristics. I may not have loved every Mackmyra I’ve come across but I always appreciate their inventiveness. With Prestige I was thinking “good, but not for me” for a long time but having now tasted it on three separate occasions and liked it more each time, its become an altogether more appealing prospect. The £90 tag is a big one certainly but it doesn’t feel over the top given the quality of the whisky. An intriguing dram that will reward the more patient of drinkers.
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