Guess what you get when you put together eight friends who have all gone to school to study in a facility that earns you a degree in Architecture, Engineering, Science or Mathematics? If you guessed a weekly poker game, I’m not sure on that one, but if you said a distillery I’d be hugely impressed and accuse you of reading my notes.
It IS a distillery. Even better, one that makes single malt whisky.
Here’s the kicker. It’s in Sweden.
In 1999, eight alumni from Stockholm’s Royal Technical Academy created a ‘pilot distillery’ to begin experimenting with more than 150 unique recipes.
Different types of barley, alternative fuel used for smoking, including alderwood, spruce and juniper twigs, various yeast brands, length of fermentation and tweaks to the stills were all part of the many components that were played with in order to find a distinctive formula of hopeful success. The team went even further, testing assorted barrels for aging. Swedish oak houses the majority of their results, but some of the spirit was also placed in ex bourbon casks and a few sherry butts.
At 6 pm on December 18th 2002, a momentous event occurred for the owners and investors. The distillery’s first batch of barrels turned three years old, and a party was thrown to celebrate the mark of maturity. Changing your name from new make spirit to whisky is a transformation that can take some getting used to. A bit like developing an alter ego, marrying another, or going from our boy Phil to His Royal Highness. As history has proved time and again, it’s not always a smooth transition.
Happily, these folks have come upon a recipe with great appeal which has produced an abundance of world appreciation. Lucky for Americans, the first shipment of bottles arrived to our shores last year at this time and locating this Swedish sweetheart poses no problem.
Here is a review of Mackmyra Whisky’s 1st Edition dram I find particularly agreeable. I hope you will too.