For our first meeting back after the New Year we decided to set off with a bang! We brought in some wonderful Whiskies from the 4 corners of the world.
South Africa, India, Taiwan and Sweden.
Mackmyra is a Swedish distillery with a cool back story. In 1998, 8 friends went on a skiing trip. Each of them took a bottle of malt Whisky for the host. They drank and talked and discussed why there wasn't a Swedish Whisky distillery. This question led them to start exploring the possibilities of making their own Swedish whisky.
One year later the company was founded and a pilot distillery was started. By the end of the year they had distilled their first drops.
These 8 pioneers produced 170 different recipes and then selected ambassadors to help decide which two recipes would be used going forwards.
In 2002 they released 2 expressions, Mackmyra Elegant and Mackmyra Smoke. These were an immediate hit and by 2008 there were two more expressions ready for market (First Edition and Mackmyra Brukswhisky).
Matured primarily in first fill bourbon casks and also including both Whisky aged in sherry and Swedish oak as well as a smokey malt. This adds complexity and makes it very interesting.
It is very pale and bottled at 41.4%.
The nose is fragrant with vanilla, fruity, citrus, spices. You get a grain and floral undertone.
In the mouth it feels creamy with oak, mild spices, summer fruits. It is fresh and crisp which complements the creamy nature in a pleasant way. It is well made and is a definite summer classic.
The finish is short to medium, sweet, fruity with a mid tongue tingle. This is very easy drinking and goes down very well.
Reviewed by TJB. Scored 86/100
From those who are familiar with this blog you will know this is the 2nd bottle we have tried of Paul John Brilliance. We were lucky enough to host a tasting evening in September 2013.
While many Whisky drinkers in the UK are becoming increasingly accustomed to world whiskies, not many are familiar with the quality of Indian single malt. Paul John Whisky will be a pleasant surprise to many people who are both new to Whisky as well as those who been enjoying Whisky for years but have only ever drunk Scotch.
The company, John Distilleries, is based in Bangalore, but the single malt distillery is located in Goa in southern India. The spirit produced for Paul John single malt is been made using 100% Indian barley and is distilled twice in traditional copper pot stills. The whisky matures very quickly in the casks due to the high temperatures and has an evaporation rate (the angel’s share) of approximately 12% per year. In fact, the peat imported from Islay is the only non-Indian component used in production. Using first-fill American oak ex-bourbon barrels (from distilleries such as Jack Daniels and Buffalo Trace, which help to add a lot of colour and sweetness to the Whisky) the casks are then stored at sea level. Age is not a question to ask of Paul John. They will say judge on flavour not age…and they are quite right. That being said, it is between 4 - 5 years which n this climate is plenty.
Understanding intricacies of using six-row Barley (from the Himalayan foothills) rather than the traditional two-row used by Scottish distilleries they have made a wonderful Single Malt. This is non chill filtered.
So, enough preamble, what's it like?
The nose gives cereal, honey, sea salt, dark fruit and cherries. There is a hint of cinnamon and a grassy note.
The Palate is rich and full of malty cereals with pleasant sweetness honey, vanilla, sea salt and some sweet fruits. There is a gentle spice tingle with a hint oak.
The finish is extremely pleasant and medium long. You are left with a tingle right in the middle of the tongue.
This is a must try bottle. Give it time to breathe and sit back and savour. I wouldn't call it overly complex but Brilliance is Brilliant. It is well rounded, thoughtfully made and simply drinkable. For the money it is a banker.
Review by TJB Score 93/100
I have been very impressed with a lot of the "new world" Whisky and Three Ships was one we were keen to get a bottle of. Good marks for presentation, it comes in a lovely tin. The Bottle is a stubby shape and is well presented.
First released in 2003, Three Ships is a South African single malt whisky.
Nose: plums, raisins, peat, toffee, salt and leather.
Palate offers oak, spices, burnt caramel and vanilla
It's a really good effort. I feel that whilst it's nicely rounded you need to remember it is a 10 yr so with that in mind it stands up well to the competition.
Reviewed by TJB and scored at 81/100.
This is my first experience with Taiwanese Whisky. It is finished on Portugese port casks, both Ruby, Tawny and Vintage Port. It has a golden tawny colour but there is no E150 added, it's all natural.
The nose is sweet, rich and fruity. Sticky dates, plums and dark fruits.
The palate offers toffee and is gently warming. There are rich fruits including mango and berries. There is a strong port influence which you would expect.
The finish it short and sweet. It has a freshness and ends with a slightly bitter spiced tang.
It's nice but it's not rounded enough. The idea is good, the execution is not quite there. Worth trying.
Review by TJB scored 80/100