Age: No age statement
Part of Mackmyra’s core range, Svensk Rök translates as Swedish smoke. And that’s about all the introduction this whisky needs, for indeed it’s smoky and it’s Swedish. So Swedish in fact that all of the ingredients were locally sourced, and part of the spirit aged in Swedish oak. And if you thought this whisky couldn’t get any more Swedish, think again! True to local tradition, the barley for Svensk Rök was smoked over a fire of juniper twigs. This is a common way of preserving food in Sweden, and it’s certainly helped to produce a flavour profile not found anywhere else in the world. Some decidedly unSwedish ex-Oloroso sherry casks were also added to the mix, so we’re in for a treat!
Colour: Pale gold
Nose: Nothing wrong with smoke from Sweden at first sniff! It’s rather different from your average Scotch, with the peaty character unfolding in a more floral, fruity type of smokiness. It reminds me a bit of Floki’s Sheep Dung Smoked Reserve – and I don’t mean that in a bad way. The aromas of a crackling wood fire mingle with fried bacon and hint of tar. Through it all runs an unusual herbal streak, with the juniper influence clearly noticeable. Good stuff so far, I’m very excited about this Mackmyra!
Palate: The juniper smoke is a bit overpowering, but quite pleasant at that. Not all the complexity carries over from the nose, but instead we get a conflagration of spice. Fennel seeds and star anise lead the way, before handing over to cinnamon and nutmeg. Notes of vanilla and toasted malt build up toward the finish.
Finish: Medium long, with another waft of that herbal, almost fruity smoke. The aftertaste offers dark chocolate and charred oak and lingers in typically bitter Mackmyra fashion.
Verdict: Svensk Rök is smoky whisky done differently. Of course, different does not always mean better, but I really enjoy the unusual flavour profile that this Mackmyra has to offer. Just like Speyside peat produces a very different whisky than Islay peat, here the juniper twigs have left a clear impression on the spirit. Mackmyra always manages to surprise, and Svensk Rök is no different. The result is a quality whisky that shows not all good smoky whisky hails from the Hebrides.
Value for money: 🤩🤩🤩