Time for another installment in my reviews of Nordic Whisky. The whisky I will be reviewing today is Mackmyra Ægirs Bior. Mackmyra is the oldest whisky distillery in Sweden, and they have put a lot of different expressions on the market over the years. This one is rather special though.
Mackmyra cooperated with Ægir Brewery in Norway. Ægir matured their scotch ale Lindisfarne in oak barrels for a period, then sent the barrels to Mackmyra. Mackmyra gave a batch of their whisky a finish in these used beer barrels, thus creating the Mackmyra Ægirs Bior. They actually did the same for beer, where Mackmyra sent a few used whisky barrels to Ægir, and Ægir matured one of their beers on these barrels for three months. The end result was a beer called Ægir Gævle Wee Heavy Barrel – a very nice beer!
You can still purchase this whisky at Vinmonopolet in Norway, at NOK 720 (item number 912501).
Nose: (22/25): Quite sweet. Chewing gum, xylitol, vanilla, licorice, and some malty notes. There’s a whiff of smoke, and a hint of beer. It’s a full and pleasant nose.
Taste: (21/25): Not as sweet as the nose, but still sweet. Vanilla, ripe fruits, licorice, spices and a hint of oak.
Finish: (22/25): More dry on the finish. Warm, rich, with a nice mouth feel. More spicy towards the end – pepper corns are very distinct. Medium long.
Balance: (22/25): A very nice effort from Mackmyra. I think the beer finish really added a new, and very interesting dimension here. The Ægir finish added body and a nice, rounded sweetness. I have found a lot of other Mackmyra expressions to be a bit thin and lacking in sweetness, so this was a definite step up, in my mind.
Many of you will probably be a bit hesitant to try a whisky with such an unusual finish, but it is well worth a try. I think it is good that some distilleries dare to go their own ways, as long as we also get our traditional single malts!