We’ve tasted a wide range of Swedish whiskies over the years, from Spirit of Hven, Stauning, Teerenpeli and High Coast (which was previously better known as Box until the IP lawyers go involved) – but to date, we’ve strangely not written about them. A clear omission! Whilst around 17% of The Dramble’s near 600 reviews come from outside of Scotland, the growing diversity of the category really does necessitate us being more proactive in delivering you content about the great liquid being produced around the world. In 2019 we’ll be dramatically expanding our coverage and discussion of world whisky – but until then, we’ll simply open our account with an interesting multi-cask bottling from Macymyra.
Mackmyra Gruvguld (Gold from the mine) has been named after its rather unique maturation location – no dunnages, no ceiling high racks – nope, Gold from the Mine has literally been rested 50 metres down a mine shaft in Bodås (40 minutes SW from the distillery based in Gävle).
Gruvguld has one of the most complicated cask compositions I’ve seen in a while – and, whilst not providing any age-statements, Mackmyra are quite transparent about their wood usage. There’s three different cask sizes in play here - 30, 100 and 128 litres - and an even wider selection of types, treatments and precursor liquids <deep breath>
Ex-bourbon: 30 L - 100 L
1st & 2nd fill
Swedish oak: 30 L - 100 L
Virgin, 1st & 2nd fill
Oloroso: 30 L
Virgin & 1st fill
Swedish oak + ex-bourbon: 30 L
Virgin & 2nd fill saturated with PX
New American oak: 128 L
Virgin & 1st fill saturated with Oloroso
Quite the recipe - and the info above omits that a small selection of the casks contained peated new make. A real jigsaw of a cask composition. The resulting whisky is presented as an NAS (presumably, with rapid maturation 30 litre casks in play there’s some young whisky in the mix here) and is delivered at 46.1% ABV. The bottle has been available in selected European countries for a little while, but has just recently been added to the shelves of UK retailers. As of writing, this will cost you £52.65 from Master of Malt.
Nose: Fresh and light and benefitting from some time in the glass. Green apple, poached pear, toffee and vanilla are upfront, alongside a slight salinity and a parcel of dried herbs – marjoram and thyme. Resting adds move expansive and sweet aromas – peaches and cream, clementine and spun sugar. Diluted, this presents a more savoury side with popcorn and crusty bread.
Taste: An impactful arrival with plenty of spice, but despite the ABV, this still feels a touch skinny around the mouth after its made an entrance. Cloves, nutmeg and dusty ginger sit with apple pie, apricot flan, an assortment of berries, fudge and golden syrup. Spices fade into the development, which then presents, floral smoke (singed tobacco flower) charred wood and some tarter elements – grapefruit and chilled white wine. The back palate offers more overt wood influence – drying oakiness alongside hay and soils. The addition of water favours the cask – vanilla pod and desiccated coconut.
Finish: Medium, demi-sweet with pears and berries tussling with drying clove spice and cashew nuttiness.
Gruvguld offers a relatively neutral and carefree nose, but under the hood, there’s much more going on. Considering the complexity of the cask composition, there’s admirable balance here – whilst you’d find it hard to clearly define each of the five types of wood, nothing feels overwrought, spikey or out of place. A touch too expensive to be considered a daily drinker, but nonetheless a well-made tasty drop.
Review sample provided by Sumerton Club in conjunction with Mackmyra