Mackmyra is somewhat of a pioneer in the world of single malt whiskies, producing the first Swedish whisky in almost half a decade. Although the business is relatively young, established in 1999 and releasing their first product years later, it has already built a significant reputation in the whisky world and won notable awards.
Because of the acclaim, I opened the bottle with high expectations but also a general feeling that the whisky was over-rated and popular simply for the novelty. However, I am happy to say that it is not over-rated at all. It is somewhat of a novelty, with a flavor profile that is new to the whisky world and hints at a future Swedish terroir. Several other Swedish distilleries are in the process of opening, so we will soon find out whether this fine single malt is due to a great distillery, a great area for whisky making or a combination of the two.
The whisky is a light golden color that indicates its lack of age. The product was matured in small, Swedish oak casks, a technique that has not been tried before. Overall, it is a good young whisky. However, it is not priced like a young whisky; in its price bracket are many competitors with established and (dare I say it) better malts. Mackmyra’s First Edition is good to buy as a taste of whisky history in the making, but it is not by any means a great value for its price.
Nose: 19/25. The nose is malty with just hints of smoke that give it a pleasant depth. The predominant elements are vanilla, fresh fruit and sugared almonds. There is a lot of pepper and hot spice that will surprise you when combined with the other sweet and subtle flavors. There is also an herbal hint that may be juniper.
Palate: 20/25. The tastes are full and well-balanced. The flavors seem to hit you all at once like a wave. You will notice the light smoke and malt of the nose, but also pears and peaches mixing with the sweet vanilla, honey and almond tastes. The spice from the nose is also still present, although it is blended well with other flavors and not so over-whelming. This is a very soft whisky that is silky and light in your mouth.
Finish: 17/25. The long finish features more of the fruit along with the spice. It has a numbing feeling that is unusual and unexpected. There is a little more tingling heat from the spicy taste at the very end.
Character: 17/25. This whisky is not mind-blowing, but it is young, fresh and delicious. It opens up nicely with water; the flavors develop and become easier to discern, although no new tastes or smells present. It is good to keep in mind that it is still quite young and one of the first products from inexperienced whisky makers. Viewed through this lens, it is easy to see how Mackmyra has received so much well-deserved acclaim.
Overall Rating of Mackmyra The First Edition Whisky: 73/100.