Svensk Rok

Posted 21 March 2019 by Matt / In Mackmyra
The Dramble reviews Mackmyra Svensk Rok

Bottle Name: Svensk Rok

ABV: 46.1%
Distillery: Mackmyra
Region: Europe

Mackmyra do peated whisky a little differently to most distilleries. The traditional method for smoking food in the country was over burning juniper twigs – Mackmyra have taken this tradition and mashed it up with some modernity – adding juniper branches (and I believe sometimes moss) to their kiln.

Svensk Rok (Swedish Smoke) is composed of whiskies that have been matured in ex-bourbon American oak and Swedish oak and casks ‘saturated with oloroso sherry’ (presumably another way of describing sherry seasoning). The smoke here comes from the juniper-influenced peated barley – a neat twist. The expression was launched in 2013 and comes at the Mackmyra ‘standard’ bottling strength of 46.1% ABV. The price for this one seems to vary greatly – the larger specialist retailers in the UK are showing it as presently sold out, and you’ll find it at some slightly more obscure outlets for around £54. However, you’d be paying considerably more than you can pick this bottle up for in Europe. Perhaps those of us in the UK should show a little patience?

Nose: Quite herbal with bracken, moss and lichen mingled with a dry, but vegetal smoke – not quite burning, but slightly ashy and with hints of seafood. The backbone of the whisky remains ex-bourbon with toffee and vanilla – though there’s less of the expected Mackmyra orchard fruit than in other expressions. Honey provides life of sweetness, whilst liquorice and anise give addition depth. Reduction adds a putty-like aroma – clay, earth and tile filler. It also brings out a bready note that I often associate with Mackmyra – yeasty and oaty.

Taste: Starting with citrus – preserved lemons – but moving onto a wider variety of green fruits – gooseberry and greengage. Partly sweet, partly tart. The development is all about the smoke – light, but enveloping – cigar box, fresh golden tobacco leaf, ashy embers and a good ladle of briny water. The back-palate presents a slightly mineral edge – chiselled seawalls with olive tapenade, and aromatically spiced (aniseed) cedar wood. Dilution takes things away from the ‘green side’ and accentuates creamy fudge and milky latte coffee – the smoke is still present – wispy, earthy and herbal – but the brighter top notes have been subsumed into something more buttery and velvety.

Finish: Long with plenty of leafy greens, white pepper, and tobacco. Smoke lingers with citrus and flecks of salinity.

Svensk Rok feels very calm and controlled. There’s a precision here which comes across as an equilibrium between spirit, cask and smoke. Whilst I don’t detect juniper outright, the peat influence is certainly vegetal and forest-like – this adds an extra dimension to the aroma and flavour palate of the underlying Mackmyra spirit in a manner which feels both natural and integrated. Likeable and quaffable too.

Score: 84/100


Master of Malt
Thank you for adding your link. We will review your link within 48 hours.

Distilleries

Bottlers

Scotland (669)
Aberfeldy (8)
Aberlour (12)
Ardbeg (12)
Ardmore (7)
Arran (24)
Auchroisk (3)
Aultmore (6)
Balblair (12)
Balmenach (2)
Balvenie (10)
Ben Nevis (3)
BenRiach (7)
Benrinnes (6)
Benromach (7)
Bladnoch (5)
Bowmore (11)
Braeval (2)
Cambus (2)
Caol Ila (20)
Cardhu (1)
Clynelish (6)
Daftmill (1)
Dailuaine (4)
Dalmore (14)
Deanston (4)
Dufftown (2)
Dumbarton (1)
Edenmill (1)
Edradour (6)
Girvan (1)
Glen Grant (10)
Glen Moray (14)
Glen Ord (2)
Glengoyne (11)
Glengyle (3)
Glenlivet (10)
Hazelburn (2)
Inchgower (1)
Kilchoman (4)
Knockando (1)
Knockdhu (2)
Lagavulin (3)
Laphroaig (19)
Linkwood (6)
Lochnagar (1)
Longmorn (7)
Longrow (4)
Macallan (9)
Macduff (1)
Mortlach (10)
Oban (3)
Scapa (1)
Speyburn (5)
Speyside (1)
Talisker (6)
Tamdhu (3)
Teaninich (3)
Tobermory (23)
Tomatin (8)
Tomintoul (2)
Tormore (4)
Wolfburn (3)
Canada (3)
Europe (15)
Cotswolds (2)
Langatun (1)
Mackmyra (8)
Penderyn (1)
Ireland (23)
Bushmills (5)
Midleton (9)
Teeling (4)
Tullamore (1)
Japan (31)
Chichibu (6)
Chita (1)
Eigashima (1)
Hakushu (2)
Yamazaki (2)
Yoichi (2)
Rest of the World (2)
Paul John (1)
Taiwan (6)
King Car (5)
Nantou (1)
USA (22)
Bernheim (2)