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200 years – That`s a long time. Ardbeg DistilleryArdbeg has a long history but if it had been a human it had been dead and resurrected  a few times – a miracle! One of the resuscitative efforts is the Ardbeg Committee and it is a great idea. It’s a worldwide fan club and in Sweden we go berserk about peated whisky and Ardbeg in particular.

As a Committee member I feel special…or at least I felt special when I could buy the Rollercoaster Committee release.  I imagined that the Committee members over the world could somehow sign up for the committee releases and  get those precious beige labeled bottles…… but no….. not in Sweden anyway. I have ideas how that could be done…….. (call me Moet/ Henessy). So I´ve lost that special feeling. I still adore Ardbeg though.

It´s not the greatest whisky I´ve had but generally you know what you get (except the age of the whisky) and I like what I get. In Sweden we are quite lucky to get a lot of bottles to “systembolaget” (our state controlled monopoly for selling alcoholic bevarages).  So I think I got my hands on all the Ardbeg Day releases. And drunk them as well…. I´m not really a collector but I do get a bit crazed over some bottles!

We will see if we can get a bottle or two of Perpetuum,  the Ardbeg Day release for 2015 – with the distillery celebrating 200 years. If not it´s not the end of the world I suppose….but still,  I´d like one.

I celebrated Ardbeg Day in The Ardbeg Embassy in Hässleholm, Sweden. Since  David Francis from BevNordic and Moet/Hennessy was booked for another “Day” tasting we got the opportunity to be the first bunch to official taste Perpetuum in Sweden.IMG_4250

David guided us through 5 expression of Ardbeg or you could say six since we got to try the Ardbeg 10 in the non alchoholic” Haar” expression. Haar is the gaelic name for the Islay fog and the name of the machine in which Ardbeg Ten is “bouncing” around on soundwaves until it makes a fog where all the taste of the whisky os captured but no alcoho is leftl. We inhaled the smoke through a straw. As a non smoker my first try was a bit coughy  but the second try let me taste all the flavours in a strange way through the straw. I kind of liked that!IMG_4240

The Ardbeg Day Tasting Line Up in Hässleholm:IMG_4238

TEN

Auriverdes

Uigedail

Kildalton

Perpetuum

 

Kildalton was great. I really liked it but don´t think I ever buy it…it is too expensive. Perpetuum (half the price) is almost as good. Auriverdes surprised me beeing a bit dry in the mouthfeel and I didn´t find the coffee notes I know I found in it before (especially at last years Ardbeg Day celebration at the Embassy in Stockholm). Uigedail is a must have in the whisky cabinet even if I find Corryvreckan  one notch up!

So here is Perpetuum –  as it turned out last in this line up:

Nose:  Toffee, butterschotch fudge, melted butter almost burnt, some fruit and bitter citrus. With water- fresh vanilla. Not much peat/smoke.

Palate: Lots of sweetness, fruits and vanilla. Peaty but not so much.

Finish: White pepper in sweetnes. Long and with a soft peatyness.

It had a fullness in the mouthfill and was less peaty than the rest in the linup. The others had some heat in the palate or the finish. Here you could find white pepper but not the chili sting. What I can say about the tasting is that the whisky spent a looong time in the mouth. Wich one of the five we tasted it was,  I do not know, but I it lingered for quite som time. A sweet peatyness that is lovely. Maybe Perpetuum is found more peaty/smokey if it stands on it own.

We will see what the next few years have in store for Ardbeg. If it can breath on it´s own or if there will be need for Another round in the life support machine. As it is now I would think the hype is big enough for Ardbeg to stand on it´s own and expand. But you never know when the bubble bursts. In this case it will spread a sweet peaty scent in the air if it happens. But I look forward to new expressions and maybe not only extremely hyped and limited ones. Affordable would be nice!TEbW_Logga

Age matters….IMG_4206 In whisky, in life and in cheese! Well age matters a lot and sometimes older is better other times the young is the best. Who would like a glass of old milk?

I do like a lot of NAS whiskies as well as the age stated ones. An Invergordon only 9 years old from Svenska Eldvatten is marvelous while I´m not too happy about the 30 yo Glenfarclas.  It does look good to show off old, expensive and rare stuff but to my opinion it´s not always better.

This time I put together two lineups to celebrate 21 years of engagement and 25 years together with my husband – Mr. Wolfmoon.

And it delivered…..Wow what lineups it was. So in this case age was good.

The 21 yo lineupIMG_4191

Springbank OB

Old Pultney OB

Bunnahabhain Whiskybroker 1991

Imperial TWA 1990

Craigellachie 1973

Mortlach Signatory 1991IMG_4195

Glendronach Single cask oloroso The Nectar 1993

They were all great. For me the Old Pultney was the best and Bunnahabhain the weakest with a little artificial tone to the taste, but all really enjoyable. A lot of “old whisky” notes in them with the Glendronach being the most heavily sherried one and Springbank the only one with a hint of smoke.

Old Pultney 21 yo OB

Nose: Fruit, full bodied vanilla and fruit. Some oakiness. Old Whisky notes. With water a bit lighter more fruity and some sweetness.

Palate: More of the Old Whisky. Smooth and Full-bodied.  Vanilla and light oak and lots of sweet fruit. With water the lightness from the nose follows in the taste as well.

Finish: Long and lingering. Lighter with water but still hanging on.

Tasting Whisky in different places gives you a different experience of the whisky. Sitting in the sun, by the sea, with the love of your life takes the tasting to another level. Still I do think that this was a lineup of 21 yrs old that is top notch. Anyway it was a fantastic way to celebrate 21 years of engagement to my Mr. Wolfmoon.IMG_4193TEbW_Logga

MrsWolfmoonsWhisky

med lagerhusUp in the north of Sweden You can find BOX Distillery. They make the most marvelous “White Dog” you can imagine. Fruity, full of flavor and with a high drinkability.

It´s beautifully located, have all the water resources it needs and have the most dedicated people working with the product, from idea through finances to creating the whisky.

The team seems happy and supportive. They invite people to interact in many ways like the BOX Whisky Academy, spoiling their ambassadors with treats and exclusive offers (Mackmyra  –  you could learn from this!) and spend hours and hours out in the country spreading the BOX evangelism through tastings and fairs. ankareSelling “Ankare”, casks about 40 liters of all different kind of high quality oak, to enthusiastic whisky people wanting to own their own whisky cask. . Brilliant marketing I would say!

So – brilliant marketing, fabulous location, engaged people and a…

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med lagerhusUp in the north of Sweden You can find BOX Distillery. They make the most marvelous “White Dog” you can imagine. Fruity, full of flavor and with a high drinkability.

It´s beautifully located, have all the water resources it needs and have the most dedicated people working with the product, from idea through finances to creating the whisky.

The team seems happy and supportive. They invite people to interact in many ways like the BOX Whisky Academy, spoiling their ambassadors with treats and exclusive offers (Mackmyra  –  you could learn from this!) and spend hours and hours out in the country spreading the BOX evangelism through tastings and fairs. ankareSelling “Ankare”, casks about 40 liters of all different kind of high quality oak, to enthusiastic whisky people wanting to own their own whisky cask. . Brilliant marketing I would say!

So – brilliant marketing, fabulous location, engaged people and a loads of competence – now over to the whisky itself.

They call their first releases”The Early Days”. In that range you have The Pioneer, The Challenger, The Explorer  (june 2015) and The Messenger (december 2015). They also released The Festivle 2014 and Festival 2015 will be relesed in the end of June 2015 when they have their own BOX Whisky Festival at the distillery. They invite friends as well so there is a wide range of whiskies to taste at the festival. In January the released 700 bottles of Archipelago – exclusively for the visitor at the Floating Cinderella Whisky Fair. Well I saw blood in the line for Archipelago….. The Box bottles are very hyped and big collectors items. So unfortunately I have´nt got my hands on any but the Archipelago – and No, I didn´t bleed to get it!

Oops, almost forgot – Box tries to educate us whiskylovers as well – I did get my hand on their Advanced Masterclass No1: Its about oak and charring the casks. Haven´t got the time to sit down and taste/work with it it but I will. Probably first “open” then “blind” to see if I learned anything about the levels of charring and their impact on taste in whisky.

Now here is my (3rd) take on:glas

The Pioneer NAS 48,1%

A vatting of many different casks:  50 % unpeated whisky 3 yrs on bourbon-ankare (40 litres) 35 % peated  whisky (31ppm) 3 yrs on bourbon-ankare (40 litres) 15 % unpeated whisky 2 yrs on 200-litres bourboncasks +1 yrs 100-litres new Swedish charred oak casks. Natural colour and non chill filtered.

Nose: Oaky and feinty. A bit of plum spirit. Baked apples with a hint of “peel”bitternes and something wine like. Some soft smokiness. With water the smoke disappears and gives room for acidity, fruit, feints, and wine.

Palate:  Young, a bit messy but not to sprawling. Sweetness, liquorices, black pepper some violets and a bit feinty in the back. Water doesn´t make it better or worse – just different. It opens op for some fudge and that is nice.

Finish: All of the above follows….but suddenly saffron…..lots of saffron lingers on and on when the glass is empty. Strange but not amiss.

I AM SURPRISED

The Pioneer was not a hit when I tried it the first and second time but now – Wow I like this young little feisty one! It is complex in its youth….. What could possibly have changed from when I tried it a first? Air…… This sample came from an opened bottled but not opened for long and not so much taken from it. It had been poured into a sample bottle and then into my glass for a 15 min rest or so. Could air be the thing? Tried it the first time in late spring (like now) and then in the summer….and not blind….Was my expectations too high? Loved their white dog, 7 months spirit and the “almost there whisky” 2,7 yrs old.  When I knew what I had in the glass it couldn´t live up to it? I don´t know, but I am obliged to change my mind am I not? I do that now – I find an aired dram of BOX single Malt The Pioneer very drinkable. 83 Points (or something…I´m not too fond of points really)!

Want to know more about BOX Swedish Single Malt – go to their homepage, mostly still in Swedish – change that asap BOX – (or send me a mail me and I´ll translate it for you)  http://boxwhisky.se/ Box_Logotyp_Pos_Highres

Maybe you will meet The Explorer here on Mrs Wolfmoons Whisky sooner than you think!

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tasteventsbywolfmoon@gmail.com

 

I both like and dislike sherry matured whiskyIMG_4163

and for me sherry cask bottlings range from top notch to bottom. The SMWS Ben Nevis “Hot Toddy”  (see the advent calendars) was one of the worst whiskies I ever had. The 14 yo Akashi – very strange and even one of my favorite distilleries Glendronach makes sherry matured whisky with the “Rancid butter mushroom sour washcloth notes”…. Not for me!

Therefore I can´t say I loooove sherry whiskies – they come in all shapes considering nose, palette and finish.

Talking about finish –When we you read sherry finish you can find that it could be a 12 yo whisky finished in 1st fill sherry cask for 3-6 months or so. The first eleven and a half years it spent in an “ordinary” ex bourbon cask. Is it cheating to do this? Well it is up for discussion but I see it as putting in the last salt and pepper when you are cooking a dish. That last dash of salt is what makes the dish become perfect.

Now the two Japanese Whiskies from Suntory, Yamazaki Sherry Cask 2013 and Hakushu Sherry Cask 2012 are both solely matured in sherry casks and they are both  NAS whiskies as well. It´s a fight between siblings. Hakushu being the lightly peated one but both at the same ABV 48%.

The Yamazaki sherry cask was named “World Whisky of the Year” (i.e. best whisky in the world) by Jim Murray in the 2015 Whisky Bible. I do not agree….. but that is another story!

Here is my take on them:

Yamazaki Sherry Cask 2013 IMG_4166

Nose: Raisins, dried fruit, wine (berry-wine), sweet.

Palette: Soft, a bit closed spirit at first, softens out and becomes more wine like. Sweet and full of dried fruit. Cherrystone notes. Oak bitterness, With water some liquorices appears, the berry wine comes forward

Finish: Some bitterness, the berry wine notes comes back. With water it opens up for the rancid notes. Fairly short finish.

 

Hakushu Sherry Cask 2012IMG_4164

Nose: Soft Peat, sweet fruits, some raspberry liquorices sweets. With water it opens up for more fruit and body. Maybe some soap.

Palette:First I get mushrooms (in a good way), Liquorices, softly peated spirit, dried fruit. Sweet. Water makes it thin. No improvement.

Finish: Light rancio, liquorices. Something herb like. Salty. And raspberry. It lingers quite long. With water it disappears quickly.

For me the Hakushu win this one. Because I´m not too fond of that berry-wine touch! Again we all have our own taste and as I said in the beginning…. The sour sherry notes with rancid butter and mushroom  is not for mer. Neither too much of the cherry stone notes or heavy sulphur but sulphur is not an issue here.

There are sherrycask matured whiskies out there that is more enjoyable!

Keep on looking!

And let me know when you find one.

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Wanted to start this year with a few thoughts about memorable drams. The reason is that I lost a friend quite recently and it makes one wonder and remember things.

So the first dram to remember is Ardbeg Alligator. Image

It was late (or early), a Magic Midsummer Night. The light outside was turning greyish to announce that the dawn was about to break. Then Mrs.Wolfmoons sensitve nose found a streak of peat in the wind which only could mean that Mr.Wolfmoon had poured one or two drams of that precious new Ardbeg. As you all know I am a responsible person when it comes to drinking ( 😉 ) and through all those years of partying my motto has been After midnight – Only water! – So I thought that pouring a precious dram att 3 o´clock in the morning after a night of heavy partying was a waste of good whisky!

Did I get grumpy? Oh yes (as always…. I´m a grumpy old lass)! Did I nag? Again yes! But I can see the picture of my lovely friend wrapped in a fleece blanket on our patio, half asleep and sniffing that dram for an hour or soo with a few Mmmmmm…. accompanied by Mr.Wolfmoons -One could sit here and sniff this all night! And we did! Till 5 in the morning as we always used to do after those Magic Midsummer and New Years Parties. Today I´d scour all the whiskysites and auctions to get another bottle if I only could give it to you!

Ardbeg Alligator is for You, Annica!

What got me in to this mess that is the Whisky World was a Mackmyra Reserve.IMG_1702

 My friend Roger was going to collect somthing like 57 or 58 bottles of a sherrycask matured Mackmyra Reserve at Juuls in Copenhagen. All the bottles ended up on my parents kitchentable and I was one of the first to taste it. It stunned me! It was like nothing I ever tasted before and it dragged me into the Whisky World forever.  I´m going deeper and into darker parts of the Whisky Labyrinth and I like it. That first Mackmyra will always be there to remind me of the beginning, the origin and how it all started! And since I didn´t start my whisky journey with classic “Scotch”or aged maltwhisky my taste is wideopen and I can explore the tastes without any prejudice.

Thank you Roger for being my first guide into the magic of malt whisky!

(It is not “that” bottle in the picture…didn´t take many bottlephotos back then. Guess how may bottlephotos ther are in my cellphone right now?….)

Glen Grant 1955 (Gordon & MacPhail)glen grant

I had the opportunity to taste the Glen Grant from 1955 at Stockholm Beer and Whisky Festival 2012. I had not been drinking many older whiskies and probably none more than 25 years old. This bottle is matured for more than 50 years so it was a big jump from young to old. And I was stunned! Again! What was most fascinating was that the taste lingured on and on. Even after a hamburger with onions and I brushed my teeth it came back!   It opened my eyes (and tastebuds) for older and more matured whisky. I still don´t think that older always is better (had some really awful old ones) but it is interesting to explore age and maturation and nothing beats a good old maltwhisky.

The Glen Grant from 1955 – is for the classic and age!

So Mrs.Wolfmoon has managed to write a Whisky blogpost without any tastnotes. Again!
I was thinking about writing more tastenotes in the blog in 2014 but that is more a New Year´s Intention than a New Year´s Resolution. Anyhow, there will be more blogposts in 2014 – that IS a Resolution!

Here is a text in swedish. All you out there who doesn´t read swedish – google translate will provide the fun translations if you are interested in reading about a very special swedish “snaps”!

IMG_0474Pors är en traditionell snapskrydda som använts för att smaksätta drycker sedan vikingatiden. Tillsammans med ett flertal andra traditionella snapssmaker har den fallit i glömska, kanske för att Hansan, som hade ekonomiska intressen i humle, spred falska rykten om att pors var giftigt.

Det Malmöbaserade familjeföretaget Symposion lanserar nu en serie lyxsnapsar under namnet Svenska Smaker. Med dem kommer man att värna om det svenska landskapets smaker som snapskrydda. Först ut är alltså Pors- Snaps de luxe.

Vi har provat Pors- Snaps de luxe ihop med kräftor, kallskuret och ost, i och till efterrätter, som drink, snaps och likör.

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Med sin fylliga sötma och ton av lakrits och beska kan den först upplevas som lite för fyllig för att vara en snaps. Vi är van vid något tunt och starkt med lite vassa och spritiga toner som river i bröstet och snabbt ska sväljas ner. Här har vi en komplex snaps som kan njutas på många olika sätt – inte minst som snaps, men även som likör till desserten eller i en fräsch drink.  Pors – Snaps de luxe är full av smaker men känns mjuk och balanserad trots sina 40%.

Lakritsen och beskan i Pors  –snaps de luxe kompletterar sältan och dillen i kräftorna. Den går också bra ihop med det rökta kallskurna som vi serverar dem som inte gillar havets frukter. Men vill du att kräftskivan verkligen ska lyfta ska du servera Pors  – Snaps de luxe  till Äppelrökt Cheddar från Norseland Limited. Med på ostbrickan får du gärna ha en Seriously Strong Cheddar och en härligt krämig Brie.

Du kan också använda pors som bas i en drink – Vi valde att göra en citrusfrisk Fizz smaksatt med pors och vanilj.

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Pure Pors Fizz

4 cl Pors – Snaps de Luxe

2 cl Purity Vodka

2 cl färskpressad citronjuice

3 cl vaniljsirap

½ äggvita

Skaka allt väl i shaker med mycket is.

Sila av i cocktailglas och fyll upp med lite sodavatten för ”extra fizz”

Vi gjorde en lyxig efterrätt som komplement till kräftskivans lite lättare buffét.

                                                  

Pannacotta de luxe 4-5 portioner

5 dl gräddeIMG_0487

1 dl råsocker/mörkt muskovadosocker

Saft och rivet skal av 1 citron

2 msk Pors  –snaps de luxe

2 blad gelatin blötlagda och urkramade

Koka upp grädde och socker.  Låt svalna något, blanda i citronsaft/skal och Pors  –snaps de luxe. Vispa i de urkramade gelatinbladen. Slå upp i 4-5 portionsskålar och låt stå kallt i 2 timmar.

Servera med en Pure Pors Fizz eller ett glas Pors  –snaps de luxe som likör. Gärna rumstempererad och njut av kombinationen sötma/lakrits i drycken och den friska citronen i Pannacottan.

 En annan efterrätt – en snabbvariant av glasstårta – visade sig vara perfekt till ett glas Pors  –snaps de luxe. Det var lite oväntat eftersom smaksättningen i glasstårtan är kaffe!

Snabb Moccaglasstårta & Pors  –snaps de luxe IMG_0556

2 liter gammeldags vaniljglass

1½-2 dl starkt kallt kaffe

1 msk socker

2 tsk vaniljsocker

1 pkt Browniecookies

 Smula kakorna och lägg i bottnen på en form med löstagbar kant.

Mixas glass, kaffe och socker. Fyll smeten i formen och låt frysa i Låt tina 10 min innan servering.

Servera med ett glas Pors  –snaps de luxe.

 Lätt, lyxigt och gott!

Pors  –snaps de luxe är en riktigt trevlig bekantskap med många användningsområden. Det ska bli spännande att följa Symposion och deras fokus på det svenska landskapets smaker. Läs mer om Symposion www.symposionhot.com.

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