Dear friends, followers, and supporters alike! A couple of weeks ago the Sales Manager at Norrtelje Distillery contacted me and wondered if I was interested in tasting a soon to be released whisky produced by them. "Of course" said I, and a couple of days later a sample showed up in my mail box. Now, this is the second release (at the swedish state monopoly) of whisky from this distillery, and this is the info I have about it:
The barley was organically grown in the landscape of Östergötland, and malted by Viking Malt in the city of Halmstad. The malt is unpeated. In the production process water from the well of the farm that the distillery is located at was used. Distillation took place in april 2016. The new make was filled into cask 43-250, a 250 litre oloroso sherry hogshead, on the 24th of September that same year. It was bottled straight from the cask without filtration on the 13th of January 2020 at 48,7% ABV (which I assume to be cask strength). The cask gave 193 70cl bottles out of which 185 will be available at the swedish state monopoly this Tuesday. The product can be viewed by clicking here
. Ok friends, let analyse!
At a distance from the glass (30cm) there are whiffs of sweet malt, sugar sweetness (syrup), and sultana raisins. Nosing closer to the glass (10cm) I find obvious notes of a nice sherry maturation (dried dark raisins, dried figs), light honey, and a slight touch of juice from canned pinneaple. When nosing straight into the glass there is apparent yeast, a yeast that has some peat and also some wood in it. The sherry maturation/style has unfortunately not fully overcome the yeast. In the deep bottom layers I find a beautiful liquorice and/or mint (the flavour, not the plant).
Starts off on dark raisin sweetnes and some saltyness which fastly morphs into a mixture of yeast and new wood that thankfully quite quickly (2-3 seconds) moves on into a kick from the ABV and then we have medium peatyness, almond paste with whiffs of bitter almond, grassyness, and dryness. After these stark/strong flavours we have pear (not quite ripe), something red (apple?), dry vanilla, vanilla custard, and the almond paste comes back. In the aftertaste there is a mellow sherry sweetness, and the taste actually ends kind of in the same way as the nose did, with a pleasent mixture of peat and mint.
Some reflections to sum up:
If one has the ability to look past the yeast on the nose, nosing this whisky is a pleasure; it is complex and it contains some goodies, especially the sultana raisins, the pinneaple juice, the hint of peat, and the liquorice-/mint-vibe going on. On the taste, all in all, the yeast is less of a problem since it fades as fast as it does. Here too there are goodies, especially the medium peatyness, the dry vanilla and the sherry sweetness. Eventhough this edition of whisky from Norrtelje Distillery shows yeast both on the nose and on the taste it is definitely more mature and grown up than their first release (which was 6 years old mind you). Considering that this release is only three years old I think that it is ok that there is a little yeast in there (something I have experienced before in young whiskies/early releases from other swedish whisky distilleries). In my opinion Norrtelje Distillery has clearly moved forward and improved their whisky making skills. Congrats and good for you!
Finally, a big thanks to the nice people at Norrtelje Distillery 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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