Mackmyra has made its name on the back of salty, often peaty whiskies, but this is a revelation. It's a spring whisky, with much in common with Bladnoch in the Scottish Lowlands or peated Connemara from Ireland: sweet apple and pear flavors flit over wispy drying smoke. Sweden is represented by juniper, but there is blackcurrant, while cinnamon plays a role, too. Subtle, sweet, and sexy. £110
Angela D’Orazio selected both birch sap wine and PX sherry casks, combined with a few punchy 30-liter casks for this beauty. An incredibly rich, intense, and complex nose; a medley of cooked fruits, cherry cake mix, marzipan, tree blossoms, stem ginger, herbs, cigar box, beech nuts, and scorched coconut. Unctuous and syrupy, the palate is immersed in vanilla extract, dry fruits, cocoa, and inky black coffee. A lengthy finish of oak, dark vanilla, and toasted coconut. Result? A whisky colossus. €140
Mackmyra continues to play a far more sophisticated game than it is given credit for, releasing pleasant and easy drinking mainstream malts, and then packing a punch with one-off oddball single casks. So this is an utter delight and among the very best Mackmyras released. Vanilla, banana, sweet jellybeans, and some toffee all playing Mr. Hyde. Dr. Jekyll pops up with earthy salt notes. Medical gauze and pepper for a savory finale.
The first "big" release from this Swedish distillery. I'm very impressed. It's youthful, but not immature. Very intriguing, too. Bright notes of ripe orchard fruit and soothing vanilla cream on the nose and palate, along with more subtle bramble, silky honey, and caramel, toasted coconut, marshmallow, bread dough, and grist. Teasing smoke emerges occasionally, adding to this whisky's delightful nature. Clean, toasted oak finish. I particularly enjoy the complex interplay between the fruit and sweetness. A fun whisky with a playful personality. More, please!
This is the thirteenth release in this series and we've reviewed about five of them; they have been very hit and miss, but the general trend has definitely been upward. These are casks selected by Angela D'Orazio, and they show what a diverse distillery Mackmyra has become. This is a dessert and cigar whisky, with melon, banana, and vanilla at one end, and chili spice and earthy, smoky malt at the other. Excellent. £110
This rufescent whisky evokes aromas of cherry blossom, kirsch, white pepper, and wood spices. Light cherry syrup, caramel, and toffee, with a strident eruption of black pepper and clove that sets the underside of your tongue alight. Körsbär is Swedish for cherry and the fat red berry flavors leave a lovely warm glow inside. Despite its color, the sweet cherry wine finish has been judged to perfection. (SEK1198; Not available in the U.S.)
Mackmyra has at long last reached the United States. It has been a growing force for some years, and is now a stocky adolescent with a personality all its own. What was challenging, salty peat is now in check, and the fruity delights are to the fore, with canned sweet pear, vanilla, cherry blossom, and lacquer on the nose. There’s a flip-flop on the palate, from melon and vanilla to dusty, peppery peat in the finish.
This is the whisky equivalent of Metallica playing country songs. You can feel the power of the malt, you know it can kick out hard if it wants to. But it's all wrapped up in Kentucky finery, the sweet bourbon candy and vanilla notes offsetting the salt and pepper, and some mint leaf and berry fruits to send it on its way. It's not an entirely comfortable pairing, but by far the best of this bunch. SEK 1195
It’s well possible that this will be the last of the Special range, and if so, then it is both a bit of a whisper of an ending, and a highly pleasant one. This is as easygoing and gentle as Mackmyra ever gets. Very much a sweet and savory delight, this is a soft dessert whisky with banana and cream in evidence. That’s before someone pours the salt pot over it. Even then the caramel and fruit battle back. Highly enjoyable.
Solsken comprises a parcel of smaller sherry and Swedish oak casks hand-picked by master blender Angela D’Orazio. The nose is like a basket of hot breakfast pastries, with honeycomb, tinned peaches, cinnamon, and hot teacakes with singed edges smoking from the grill. An amazing, golden taste that’s warm and soothing; sucked lozenges, mandarin segments, tame spices, and cobnut. The strength of the alcohol remains veiled in the shadows until the swallow…then it pounces. Mouth puckering finish of sharp fruit juices. €130
Angela D’Orazio matured a third of the component whiskies in cherry-wine casks for this seasonal creation. Rather than cherries, the fruity aroma of the wine is more apparent on the nose, together with crushed root ginger, hawthorn, drying tobacco leaf, and beefsteak tomatoes. This thick-textured dram exudes cherry, strawberry, and vanilla fudge, drawing the mouth before a late phase of rum and raisin, aniseed, peppermint, and menthol. 598 SEK
This wintery limited edition was finished in casks that previously held Bordeaux, Glühwein, and sherry. This achieves an appealing nose of orchard fruits and spices. Juicy apple, hints of conference pear, cinnamon, clove, vanilla tablet, and lemon pith. Apple is at the core of the flavor, but it’s rich with warming spices, strawberry, and zabaglione, tightening in the end to a conclusion of dried fruits, nut shells, and a twist of pepper. (Sweden, France, and Germany only) €65
Meaning Swedish smoke, and they’ve nailed the juniper smoke perfectly here. Ripening lemons, fresh cream, Turkish delight, pine forests, and barley sugar aromas. Great poise and balance. A light, lacey structure comprising creamy fudge, honey, lemon, oak, and vanilla. It just dances on the tongue. Yet billowing puffs of smoke pulse from the center. Baked lemon peel ushers in a pleasurable rolling, smoky finish. This Röks! €59
Be more Swedish: escape the city and head to a rural, red-painted summer house with a tasty bottle of this little beauty tucked under your arm. A clean, fresh nose of marshmallows, Scottish tablet, warm spices, and reed matting. A thick, substantial palate with an array of lighter flavors; sweet barley sugar, honey, melon, vanilla frosting, gentle citrus, and spicy cinnamon. Great balance of power and delicacy here. The cinnamon rolls into a finish that really goes the distance. €65
Mackmyra has used 30-liter casks held underground in the Bodås mine, the archipelago repository on Fjäderholmarna, and the forest repository in the Whisky Village in Gävle. Bruised banana, ground almond, Horlicks, spearmint, and budding foliage characterize the nose. The fruity whirlpool of flavor includes apple, watermelon, and poached pears, a second wave of dried fruits and fudge, all anchored by a clean edge of Kendal mint cake. Bubblegum on dilution. A final rush of coffee/cocoa before a sweet, juicy finish. €130
Early bottlings of Mackmyra were a challenge — salty peat, intense woodiness, and unusual juniper-influenced spices made the whisky an acquired taste. Over time though, sweet fruit brought more balance and the whiskies have bloomed. This special bottling — one of four in the Moments series — recalls those roots but delivers a meaty, spicy, and earthy flavor with melt in the mouth syrup. Imagine honey poured on a heavily peppered well-done steak. €141 (Currently not available in the U.S.)
The Mackmyra success story just goes on and on. There have now been more Specials than bottlings of Privus or Preludium, and the whisky makers seem to have hit upon a trademark taste that they tweak with each bottling. It's a mix of salt, pepper, citrus, and vanilla, and here the vanilla is at its most subdued and the salt is at its highest. That makes this challenging to anyone unfamiliar with the Mackmyra brand. SEK 649
Named after the 10% of the recipe that benefits from Swedish oak maturation, this light-colored dram has honey-drenched crumpets, creamed butter, green tea taken in lemon groves, and hints of peppermint. Shredded lemon and lime peels are joined by a precise, concentrated wood spice note with ground ginger and black pepper. Dilution fattens the mouthfeel but flattens the citrus peel, leaving a smudge of light toffee and malt. Pleasant sipping for those long, Swedish summer days. €59
This may well be the perfect entry level Mackmyra. It has a lower strength, and is almost Mackmyra Lite, thinner and less peaky, peppery, and peaty than every other Mackmyra bottling. There’s a green fruit, almost gooseberry dimension to this; most unusual for the distillery, and the peaty underlay is fractured and dusty rather than sharp and intense. A revelation, and proof that the distillery is branching out.
Initial maturation in sherry and bourbon wood from the U.S. and Sweden, finished in fermented birch sap wine casks. Concentrated heather honey, wax, fresh mascarpone, fruit tarts, and toasted oak. It draws the mouth in: fruity, but not sweet. Stewed, dark fruits from the hedgerow and orchard (cherry, apple, plum, mulberry, and rhubarb), then a delayed splurge of spices and pepper, ending with Brazil nut, espresso, and bitter cacao. It’s all rather austere, serious, and forbidding. €65
This is the Mackmyra equivalent of an arena rock band playing a small town club gig; a raw, rough and ready, in your face rock and roll version of the whisky — and it’s not for the faint-hearted. Matured in French red wine casks, it has a pleasant apricot and woodsmoke nose, while the taste is young, brittle, and gristy, with intense and persistent pepper, ginger, and bitter berries. Well-made, but not the best starting point to explore Mackmyra.
Moment is a series of special one-off single malt whisky releases, and allows the distillery to experiment with cask types. Some of the whiskies, such as this one, take the distillery back to an earlier, more intense and difficult era. So here we have mushroomy, earthy whisky with damp autumn leaves, artichoke, tobacco, and salted fish in the mix. It's a full-on savory experience, and not one for the faint-hearted. SEK 1295
Mackmyra makes no secret of the fact that it borrowed the idea for this release from its American friends. The name means 'white dog,' but the taste is all Scotland. It's sappy, fresh, raw, and vegetal, with some pleasing menthol notes. Perhaps the most interesting aspect of it is how much like scotch new make it tastes, suggesting that Swedish barrels have a very big say in the final product. SEK 319