Archives for category: whisky

As a child I used to play in Mackmyra.Maltstock _1

Not at the destillery but in the area thats called Mackmyra. My cousins lived there and I had a really good time visiting them.

I was just slightly intrested in Whisky when I first heard about Mackmyra in whiskyterms. It´s a good thing to discover Whisky without being a snob, totally focused on Scottish Single Malt. You get an open mind to tastes from all over the world. So one can say that Mackmyra was the destillery that got me into this mess – an expensive hobby, gone overhand, to be a a business with me as my own boss – Taste Events by Wolfmoon. But thats yet another story. Lets focus on Mackmyra.

My friend Roger – Mackmyra and Whisky connoisseur – was going to Juuls in Copenhagen to collect his first private cask from Mackmyra. Over 50 bottles it was and we went with him as moral support. Later that evening he opened one of those bottles to share. It was an elegant Sherry recipe and it knocked my hat off!

I knew I liked whisky before that. I had had my fair share of Famous Grouse, Chivas and Glenfiddich. And I enjoyed it. This Reserve Cask from the little swedish destillery Mackmyra would expand my world in many ways.

mackmyraI am caskowner myself (you can see me in the picture from the Caskownerlounge at Sth Beer&Whisky festival) and I keep spreading the word of Mackmyra around the world. I help my friends to collect the bottles in Copenhagen and I have the opportunity taste their delicious Whisky.

Mackmyra was a crazy idea from the beginning. A bunch of swedish whiskyfreaks sitting in their mountainlodge for their own private after ski, having a bottleshare and the idea of Swedish Whisky popped up. 10 years later the first Mackmyra standard whisky, Mackmyra First Edition, was on the market shortly there after joined by Mackmyra BruksWhisky. The latter one a bit cheaper in price and lighter in taste but still the better of two if I can have my say!

The destillery launched a Preludium series that was a success… until the common whiskydrinker got their hands on it and took a sip. It was young, a bit unbalanced and not very nice to drink. Experts and connoisseurs  said it was good but they ment it had potential. Some people thought they should compare it with an 18 yrs old Macallan. Then it was quite awfull ……..

There you can say Mackmyra bit their own butt ……. I meet so many swedish whiskypeople today who says Mackmyra isn´t any good. They make this fault and that fault. It doesn´ttaste Scottish (is it supposed to?). Bla bla bad…bla bla yuk!

But the Mackmyra Special which has been  launched in so far 9 editions, is as they say themselves ”  a drink for special occasions and special people.” Matured in casks that have contained lingon and blueberrywine, raspberry or cloudberry wine and sauternes wine. Here´s where the destillerybottlings becomes interesting.

Then we have the Mackmyra Moment wich is an even more balanced and mature Whisky launched in 10 limited editions. And beeing limited brings the price up ….. A bit too expensive for the common Whiskydrinker. But here´s were the really good taste is showing itself. Some has the taste of juniper smoke!

I haOLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERAd the opportunity to attend a Twasting -a tasting over Twitter ( Thanks Sjoerd de Haan- Kramer, Colin Campbell and Angela D´Orazio). We blindtasted 5 Mackmyras that turned out be Special no.9, Moment; Källa (Back to the source), Skog (Forest) , Glöd (Glow) and the Whisky Honey Liqueur Bee.

I think Glow was the favourite with the other tasters. It had  quite some touch of juniper and swedish peat. Me myself, I fell for Moment Skog (Forest).

As they write themselves in their hompage – :

“The flavours of the forest flourish through this whisky, with a rich foliage of fruity notes of lingonberry and bluberry, gently wrapped in a light veil of smoke. The nose is a complex palette of berries and spicy cask notes.”

Whisky liqueur isn´t my cup of tea …. but it´s fun!

Even if I like the “Specials” and the “Moments” I find the real pearls in the Reserve Casks. I still havent tasted a bad Reserve Cask. But none has come up to the standard of that first cask we collected at Juuls ages ago. But that was pure magic and you can´t beat magic can you!

For you whiskynerds out there – give Sweden and Mackmyra a chance to open your tastebuds. There will soon be competition for Mackmyra since the other Swedish Whiskyprojects are getting closer to launch their “First Editions”. And there will be even more for you out there to taste!


72+1,121209 356

thats the amount of drams I had to taste in the Christmas countdown 2012.

Well it all started quite innocent. We, my beloved husband and I,  bought a whisky advent calendar to enjoy during December. 24 nice drams to share.  Just enough for a common weeknight when you have to drive early in the morning to get to work.

SO when did it all get out of hand?

It was when my husband got a big package to collect at the post office. In it was not only one but two whisky advent calendars- Our good friends in Gävle (north of Sweden, close to the Mackmyra Destillery) Roger and Tobbe had sent us an Adventcalendar each. Suddenly we had 3 drams a night to share.

It was fantastic and a bit stressfull. We didn´t have time to do the tasting one night. The next day we had to taste 6 drams. Missing two days would make 9 to try out and…well you see. We just had to keep up.

IMG_1358We did all the tastings blind. Most of them in our livingroom but one took place on the train to a nice tasting called The Classic Malts on Steroids. And we actually tasted  3 different Highland Park Samples from the Master of Malts first of all that journey. It was a happy evening.

I will not tell about all the drams but I will mention the one with the lowest ratings and those with the highest.

Lets start at the botton and work our way up:   Zero Points

Ben Nevis 10 yrsbottled 2008, 1st fill sherry Gorda, 453 bottles, “Hot Toddy”, SMWS 78.39, 54,4% Scotch Malt Whisky Society It looked so good with its dark redbrown colour. It tasted like butter wine and mushrooms in a very overwhelming way. Straigh to the drain.

1 Point

We will have to make a list here –

  • Tullamore Dew
  • Tullamore Dew sherry cask finish
  • Black Velvet (wonder why it got any points at all….),
  • Jim Beam Red Stag (Its not even Whiskey OR Bourbon. A bit fun though! No points for that……)
  • Auchentoshan 12 (? use to like their bottlings but this…..).
  • Swedish Wannborga Whisk (too bad…didn´t want to place a swede down here but…),
  • Glenfiddich Caoran Reserve
  • Amrut the Indian single malt (has got really nice bottlings but this one is ….)

We skip the ones in between. We will go straight to the top:

5 Points

  • Kilchoman 5 yrs 2006-2011 59% Bottled for Viking Line
  • BenRiach 15 yrs 1994 – June 2010, Cask 6695, Pedro Ximenez Puncheon, 752 bottles, OB for Japan, 55,4%
  • Elijah Craigh 18 yrs Bourbon 45% (if you say you dont like Bourbon…try this…delicious!)
  • Benromach 10 yrs 43%
  • Glenmorangie Nectar D`or 46%
  • Glenfarclas 9 yrs 1st fill bourbon barrel, 226 bottles, “A cornucopia of mellifluos sweetness”, SMWS 1.153, 57,6%

Best in show:      5,5 – 5,8 Points

  • Bunnahabhain 1968 The Family Silver, 40% (Sweetnes, sherry and sulfur in an almost perfect mix……)
  • Glenforres 12 yrs (Edradour) All Highland Malt, 26 2/3 fl oz / 75,7cl, OB, 75 proof.
  • Bowmore Cask Strenght 56%

We did survive december. In the end I had tasted at least 115 drams that month. Well maybe I shouldn´t say drams but sip of drams to be honest. Some less of,  others a whole dram. And I think I had some more that I forgot to write down. (Are you surprised I forgot ?) Couldn´t count all of them in the 346 different sorts I had tasted over the year. Had a few doubles in the calendars.

And what was that +1 dram then?

It wasn´t whisky. It was tapwater – matured in a cask for 30 days. It had absorbed 35 % of alcohol and lots of colour and taste. What points it got? Hmmm ….2,8 ……. Shame on me or shame on the established destilleries who couldn´t get up to 30 days old tapwater Devils Cut standard!

An early friday morning    

a small car just big enough for a Mackmyra Cask and four whiskynerds headed out for a whiskyadventure in Køge and Copenhagen.

Roger had been driving 700 km from Gävle (the town close to the swedish destillery Mackmyra) and Lilian and Yfke had been driving 830 km from Ruinerwold in The Netherlands. They were to spend a few days at The Wolfmoon Residence, in Bjärlöv, Skåne, the south of Sweden. We had a few tastings planned : A Bourbon Tasting, a Mackmyra reservecask Tasting and a Japanese tasting. But more about that later on….

Back to that Fridaymorning.

We all squeezed in to the car, The Cask in the trunk and The Dutch people sleeping in the backseat! Our goals were The Braunstein Brewhouse & Destillery in Køge and collecting 57 bottles of Mackmyra Reserve at Juuls in Copenhagen.

It was a lovely day and we arrived in  Køge Harbour just after 10 in the morning.A beautiful brickbuilding met us when we arrived. It was a lot smaller then I expected. braunstein

And as Michael Dines Poulsen Braunstein explain to us – Braunstein could be a lot bigger because the international demand for this Danish whisky is very high. But he and his brother Claus who runs the destillery wants to keep it smallscale and doesn´t sell all the batches away just because they can. They leave the most for the Danish customers so “everyone” can have a taste! Another thing is that they dont speculate in the price of their own bottlings. The price is the same even if they are soon going out of stock. I like that! And when one batch is gone ….it´s gone! Another one will fill it´s space on the shelves but the one thats gone will not come back again. They haven´t got a standard whisky that will be the same year after year. New casks will bring new flavour to their Whisky.

We looked around the destillery/brewhouse and then we had the opportunity  to taste a variety of Braunstein’s recipes and caskfinishes under Michael’s guidance. You can fill a 30-litre cask and follow its maturation in some of the warehouses Braunstein has to offer. I have one favourite that I already tasted at Stockholm Beer and Whisky Festival – their unpeated Oloroso Sherry Cask. It´s a private cask but they made one destillery bottling in 2011 – The Braunstein Library Collection 11:1 that is close to those small Oloroso Casks.

My friend Roger brought a used Mackmyracask to have it filled with Braunstein unpeated Oloroso Sherry. It will lay maturing in the historic grounds of Kronborg Castel in Helsingør. The very same castle where a certain young prince called Hamlet had his whereabouts according to Mr W. Shakespeare. I hope we can go visit the cask while it´s attracting flavours and historical air!

Of course we did some shopping as well.

The crown was this Bunnahabhain embassyfrom Michaels and Claus own Embassy bottling. A cask chosen on one of their flyfishingtrips to Scotland.

The other bottles I got was The Braunstein Library Collection 11:1 (my dram att the stroke of midnight 2012-2013). Its so good with all the sherrytnotes and has a lovely mouthfill. The Mikkeller Black Rumcask is very interesting (Google that one). I also got a bottle of Rum from the Rumcasks that Braunstein uses to get a nice  flavour in their Whisky and Mikkeller spirit!

I must say that the visit to Juuls Vin & Spiritus in Copenhagen was a bit of a dissappointment after the lovely visit at The Braunstein Brewhouse. At Juuls they were probably waiting for the new year rush so we wasn´t even offered a dram …… They have so many nice whiskys in that shop and sometimes the prices are very affordable. Sometimes they are not! So I didn´t get anything from them this day (have spent a fortune there on other visits though). Roger only got his 57 bottles of Mackmyra and Lilian and Yfke got themselves one of The Element of Islay bottelings and something else that I have forgotten. As you see Braunstein was the profit of this Roadtrip.

If you are going to visit one destillery outside of Scotland this year, go to Braunstein in Køge. You will have a heartwarming welcome and some lovely drams.  Oh, almost forgot to mention: – Braunstein makes Craft Beer as well. We will look in to that another time.    Bryghuset

Well we actually didn´t eat in the snow,

even if we spent quite some time in it chopping down our Christmastree and having a Bourbon coffee to warm us with after the good but cold work.

Sweden has been covered with layers and layers of snow the last weeks and today, one week before the big X-day, it starts melting….

Back to the essentials – WHISKYDINNER!Granmiddag

It was our turn to host the annual “Christmastreedinner”. We chop the tree with another family and then one of the families cook dinner and prepare for the Christmas gift exchange. This year we had the honour of hosting the event.

So what can one do to impress good friends with a taste for the exclusive and special? A three course whiskydinner accompanied with some nice beers of course!

Welcomedrink – Homemade Glögg (Glüwine) made of Chardonnay and Mackmyra Special No.8

Starter – 3 Swedish Knäckebröd (crispbread) with different toppings to  match the Whisky. We had Blanche de Namur Witbier and Braunstein Christmas ale to quench our thirst.


No.1 Arran Amaronecask – Cream cheese with Gruyère, Ruccola and Créma di Balsamico

No.2 Laphroaig Triplewood- Salmon Tartare with dill, lemon, mustard and cremefraiche.

No.3 Orangerie/Compass Box – Cream cheese with saffron, candied orangepeel and thyme.

The Blanch de Namur ( a bit flat) went surprisingly well with the salmon and Laphroaig.

Main Course – Charcoal grilled Pokfillet marinated in Smokey Islay Whisky, Ileach and Ardbeg Ten, accompanied by a whiskysause based on the same whiskies, potatowedges and a fresh salad. Ardbeg Gallileo or Alligator in the glasses and Sierra Nevada Torpedo extra Ipa and Schneider Weisse Tap 6 to wash it all down.

Dessert – Sticky Toffée Pudding with Vanilla ice cream, whipped cream and Bushmill 16. A local winterbeer, kind of Christmas-spiced stout, “Charlis vinter” was perfect with the sweet Tofféesause and the spices in the sponge.

After opening the Christmasgifts we had to taste ours – Yoichi 10. Japanese acquaintances are always nice and this one particularly!121209 013

We ended the evning with a Stout-tasting at 1am. The line up wasn´t fair becuse we had a bottle of Kilkenny in it and Yes, I know it´s not a stout but a beer I enjoy down the pub (or used to…) At 1am after a tasty evening competing with a Guiness (bottled though. Not the best way to enjoy your Guinness) a Coffee Stout from Sjoerd de Haan and BrewDog Rip Tide it fell flat!

It was a dead heat between Sjoerds Stout and the Rip Tide. Way to go Sjoerd! Not bad competition there!

Today, The Day After, I´ll have to taste 6 different drams. Didn´t have time to taste the 3 adventcalendars we have yesterday so we have to catch up quickly, otherwise it will all go out of hand. Missing 2 days makes a tasting of 9…3 days=12. No, we have to keep up! Will let you know more about the calendars…when we have finished the 72+1 drams.

Now I´m going to make some “Dreams” with my youngest son. And they are almost as tasty as a Whiskydinner!


So what on earth am I heading in to? Or maybe it is heaven ahead?

I like to meet people, chat and have a good laugh. I also like to lead people, as a preschool teacher at my work or in a project of any kind. I also like to sing and be on stage (even if it was a long time since I actually did that). Last but not least, I love whisky!

Do you think that is good ground for being a tastingleader? I do, but still I´m wondering if I´m good enough (anyone else out there having that thought after throwing yourself out in the unknown?).

There will always be someone who knows “better” and who are willing to tell me that, I suppose. But my philosophy about whisky, beer, wine and other nice beverages is that you should go by your own taste. Always follow your heart and my heart says I´m going to be a great tastingleader. What bothers me is that I´m not sure if I have experience enough. Not the thing about talking to a large crowd of people (piece of cake). Not the thing about managing a company (piece of cake). No, I wonder:


I´m getting close to have tasted 300 different whiskys/whiskeys this year . Well not really but 265 and there is still a little more then one month left of 2012. I have one serious tasting booked and will have at least 3-4 informal ones as well. And not to forget the advent calendar with 24 different drams to taste (but there might be a few that I´ve already tasted).

Am I ready? Oh, yes I think so. I hope to meet you all somewhere out there and have a long nice chat about our favourite subject and of course savour the flavor of the same..

Spent last Saturday at Stockholm Beer & Whisky Festival.

So how many whiskys did I taste? The answer is five. Yes five!!!!! And still it was a dream come true! I had the opportunity to work at Symposions booth with more then 250 different whiskys to serve. Symposion is a big swedish importer of whiskys and other nice beverages. They work with independent bottlers like Sansibar, Gordon MacPhail, CompasBox, The Nectar, Cross Hill and brands like Springbank, Benromach and Nikka!!!!

I was Cinderella at the ball. Quite nervous but I had a wonderful time. I think I managed quite well even though I had to dress up in a pique shirt. I´m not a piquet kind of girl but I sustained it and quickly learned how to work the cash register and put the bottle pilots on the bottles!

It´s the meetings I love the most. Someone comes up and says -I want something smokey but not like Laphroaig or Lagavulin. And I say: – I have a 21 yrs old Bowmore from Silver Seal. It has the smoke but its smooth and complex and lingeers long. If you think its too soft I have a 16 yrs old that is a bit more “spikey”…….. And when he takes a sip of the 21 yrs old tears comes into his eyes……..and I chose it for him! Wow! That feels good!

So what did I actually taste? I had a dram of our own Mackmyra extrasmoke cask. 2 years and 2 months in the cask has given it a fruity, fullbodied roundness with the smoke from the Swedish forest surrounding it all. A year or so and its ready for bottleing.

A stop at the Danish Braunstein booth knocked me of my feet. Their private Olorosocask was one of the best things I ever tasted. That will be our next cask project. Interested to join? Send me a mail!!!!

A Banff from 76 and a Laggan Mill passed quite unnoticed. Nice but nothing to hang around.

But then…..Glen Grant 1955.

The last one I tasted. Wow! A sherrybomb without any disturbing sulfur or too sour wine notes! Just sweet, full, much, fantastic and wonderful! It lingered for hours and hours. I want a bottle!!! Only 6475 sek. Well I´m not Princess yet…just Cinderella so I might have to enjoy what I have in my shelves for now……….

But who knows? Maybe a dream will come true. Maybe I managed the day in the booth so well that I will get accepted to Symposions education for Certificated Tastingleaders.

I would love to be a Princess in that Kingdom!

Inspired by my Maltstock Friends I wanted to start a blog myself. So just to begin I´ll post a photo of one of my whiskytastings. It´s a tasting with snacks and food to find (or kill) the taste in the whisky!!!  If you do your tastings this way it will most surely lead the Tasters through the flavours of the whisky and beyond. It will be a “snackis” as we say in Sweden – something you just have to talk about! There will be more Whisky-Talk in my blog but for now I´ll settle with this little start!Image

Good Night from Me and my Guardian Highlander!