Dear friends, followers and supporters alike! Today I am very happy to bring you my review/tasting nostes of an upcoming release from High Coast Distillery/High Coast Whisky
called Silent Mills 02 – Sandö
. Before we talk the specifics of maturation etcetera, here is some background info from the site of the distillery:
"Silent Mills 02 – Sandö is number two in a new category that develops and deepens the theme of the pedigree and authenticity of our Origins series. The High Coast, and its nature and history, is the backbone of our brand and the source of inspiration for our whisky. With Silent Mills, our historical origins in the northern forestry industry come into focus and the whisky is linked to our Origins edition, Timmer. Where Timmer draws inspiration from forestry work and log-driving along the river Ångermanälven, the Silent Mills series develops the story and highlights all the sawmills that have lined the river and which have long ago sawn their last log. Like Timmer, all Silent Mills editions are peated and are matured on 200 liter bourbon barrels. The crucial difference between Timmer and the Silent Mills series is that we add other barrels to Silent Mills to deepen the taste and create a whisky with more complexity and an exciting tonality [...] In Silent Mills 01, it was American new oak that added spice and clear vanilla tones. In Silent Mills 02 – Sandö, it is instead selected sherry casks that deepen the taste. [...] Like the previous edition, and the upcoming ones in the Silent Mills series, the whisky is bottled with an alcohol strength of 51%".
So, some details: the barley used was peated to 44-45ppm. Whisky matured in 20 bourbon casks (volume around 200 litre per cask) and 4 oloroso sherry hogsheads (volume around 250 litre per cask) were blended together. The youngest whisky in the mix is 6.01 years old and the oldest is 7.69 years old (giving and average age of 7.35 years old). The whisky was watered from cask strength (in this case 62,4-64,3% ABV) to 51% ABV. In total the casks gave 10318 bottles out of which 2500 will be (initially) available on the 13th of October at the swedish state monopoly. The product can be veiwed by clicking here
. Ok folks, let's review!
This dram has two general profiles/styles going on at once. Sometimes when I nose my attention is drawn to profile number one: wonderful soft lemon zest (a touch of watered orange juice in there), a tad of lemon-sugar sweetness and at the same time very fruity fresh. Overall incredibly fruity. At other times when nosing my attention is drawn to profile number two: Smooth, deep, elegant but ’dark’ peat. Leather, and in the deapths a complex vanilla with a slight touch of almond. In the very bottom there is a cup of hot chocolate with a splash of peat in it. All in all very intriguing, mature, and kind of like a smooth Laphroaig.
Starts off on ”burnt” sugar, caramelized pan-fried lemon-slices and peated pear, and then moves quickly on into a lump of dried up almond paste, farmhouse, earth/soil, smoke/ashes, liquorice penicillin, wet leather slippers and at the very end we have parsnips pan-fried in a lot of butter topped of with sweet peat. Wow, what a journey of flavors!
Some reflections to sum up:
The nose is very different from the taste; while there is (in part) a very fruity profile on the nose the taste is mostly concerned with rough and rustic stuff! I would not really say that I pick up/spot the sherry matured aspect of this dram (but it is after all only around 20% of the liquid that has been matured in sherry casks). All in all this is a very good, complex, and well composed whisky that brings the drinker the best of two sides. Looking at the age of the whisky it is a job incredibly well done!
Finally, a big thanks to the nice people at High Coast Whisky for the great opportunity to review this whisky before it's release! For kind of weekly updates please make sure to follow my FB-page by clicking here
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|In lack of a photo of the Silent Mills 02 bottle. Pic borrowed from systembolaget.se |