Newmake from Myken, matured for 12 days in a heavily toasted virgin American oak cask of 5 liters capacity.
Nose: Butterscotch, yellow apples. A lot of butter. Underlying oak. Mango. Malt makes its appearance with water, so does a faint citrussy note.
Palate: Oak, butterscotch, vegetation. Slightly more bitter with water, and some sweet mango appears, otherwise much the same.
Comments: A very active cask. Not bad at all, the butterscotch is pretty dominating, but also rather nice.
In order to really test the sample of Myken newmake, I lined up two other newmakes to try in parallel. One was not even a sample, Mackmyra Vit Hund is available at Systembolaget in Sweden for 319 SEK for 50 cl bottle. The other spirit I let Myken test its mettle against was a sample of Glenburgie newmake. To my delight (yes, I will happily admit to rooting for the Myken project) the sample from Myken stood its own. The Mackmyra is perhaps more polished, but it’s also a product meant to be sold and drunk as is. The Myken spirit is intended for maturation (so is most of the spirit off the still at Mackmyra, of course, but I suspect they chose the batches for Vit Hund with care). The Glenburgien had a pleasant nose, but was unfortunately undrinkable once water was added, and that’s simply not good enough in this company.
But enough waffle, here are my impressions of the Myken newmake:
Nose: Malt, milk chocolate and wet concrete. With water sulfur emerges, but also green grapes and apples and Wasa Husmann crackerbread.
Palate: Lemon, concrete, malt and a chemical pine needle character. A little sharper with water, but the malt/barley character is also emphasised.
Comments: Pretty good, on the whole. Less fruity than the other two, but it tastes nice enough to leave me wanting more. The impression of concrete interests me (it’s an aroma I rather like), and I’ll be interested to see if it follows through in the maturation.
Nose: Malt first and foremost. Citrus and Haribo peaches, congeners in appropriate amounts. With water comes orange peel and orange blossom. Grilled chicken breast and apricot chutney.
Palate: Malt, a hint of sulfur, yellow apples. With water the malt turns doughy, and I get strong associations to a “Full Scottish Breakfast” without managing to pinpoint why… White pudding, perhaps? Or haggis?
Comments: Quite my cup of tea. There’d be no point in maturing this, except it results in another product entirely and so why not have the best of both worlds?
Distilled 27 Juli 2007, 50 ppm in the malt, matured in an ex-bourbon cask, bottled 26 February 2008.
Nose: Railway sleepers and rusty iron. Apple sauce, apricots and cucumber. With water jasmine and cardamom.
Palate: Soot-covered iron construction. More ashy with water, with an underlying fruitiness.
Comments: Where can I get a proper bottle rather than this puny 5 cl? Makes me wonder what the point is to years of maturation, when this is perfectly delightful as is.
In honour of St. David’s Day, which falls on March 1st every year, I’ve opened a bottle of whisky from Penderyn. It’s from the very first batch that was commercially available, and is no age statement, finished in Madeira casks.
Nose: Tinned peaches, honey, vanilla and spices. The spices turn towards cumin with water, and I find some yellow apples, otherwise the honey is emphasised.
Palate: Heather honey, fruit chutney, vanilla and cinnamon. A little bitterness with water, but otherwise not much difference.
Comments: I’ve sort of lost sight of Penderyn lately, it’s not available in the Nordics, so we don’t hear much about it. But this is a very drinkable “baby” (it’s NAS, but I seem to remember it being not much more than three when it was bottled around ten years ago), a pleasant sipping whisky. I am denitely taking note to try some of the more recent, older bottlings from Penderyn if a chance offers.