Dear friends! When Pär Caldenby, the Distillery Manager/Master Distiller at Smögen Distillery
, sent me a package in the end of november he did not only include Bländande
, but also a sample of the soon to be released second batch of 8 year old whisky
! While the first batch
was composed from four Sauternes barriques, batch 2 is composed from seven bourbon barrels (six 1-st fill, one refill) and a 1-st fill oloroso sherry hogshead. As we know by now the phenol-content in the heavily peated malt of Smögen is well above 50ppm. This batch is bottled at 59,8% ABV, which I assume to be natural cask strength. Here in Sweden this whisky will be released at the state monopoly this tuesday (201215) and it can be viewed by clicking here
. Well folks, without further ado, let's do some analyzing!
Lots of peat jumping right at my nose! A peat bomb if you will (more peaty and smoky than medicinal), agressive in a good way. Although heavy on the peat there is for sure nuance; burnt grass/hay, ”leather” with a slight touch of jute cloth or burlap, natural (green) mint, salt-y melted butter, salt vanilla, vanilla ice cream, and even some fugde with a chocolate-y touch. There is a whiff of fruityness that I can’t really pin down, it hides in the vanilla and the ice cream and it’s hard to capture (fleeting)… In bourbon matured and peated whiskies it tends to be something citrus-fruit-peel-y that I think of, so we’ll settle with that.
Definitely a peat bomb on the taste, explosive stuff this! We have salt/brine (without really being coastal salt if that makes sense), fireworks (gunpowder and ashes with a hint of sulfur), peated leather (however that tastes), medicinal stuff (you know the band-Aid on a roll), evident mint and various green tastes. There is also a beautiful element comprised of peated vanilla and salt almond paste that brings a softness and a richness to it all. The softness and richness is needed and most welcome because if it wasn’t there this whisky would, taste-wise, truly be a monster (a friendly monster mind you).
Some reflections to sum up:
This is the most peated swedish whisky I’ve tried so far, and more importantly the one that manages this style the best. Still there's not ”just” peat, there is also deapth and a degree of finesse, both on the nose and the taste. Out of the nose and the taste the latter is for sure the heaviest, in all its bluntness and straightforward-ness, but it has an elegant aftertaste of softness and richness. Lovers of peat will definitely… you guessed it, love this whisky!
Finally, a big thanks to Pär 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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