The booth of Svenska Eldvatten – the biggest indie bottler in the Nordics – was one of my favorite target places at last years’s Bottle Market. Repeatedly, I returned there to sip a dram and have a chat with the company’s owners Peter and Tommy. Before I went home, I decided that I had to buy a bottle. My fave was an age-old grain whisky by Carsebridge, which happened to be quite a bit out of my budget range. So I went for another spirit that was also not made from malted barley: this 7 years old Tennessee Whiskey from a secret production unit. It has a decent age for a bourbon, which matures differently from a Scotch due to the different climate on the other side of the pond and the requirement to be put into virgin oak. Its alcohol content is not exactly low, but in this case the 60+ per cent work really fine – even for my wimpy palate. And, most importantly, its aromas and flavors are very good… and unusual. This bottling from Svenska Eldvatten definitely ain’t your everyday American whiskey. And that’s one thing I love about it!
Eye: Copper brown.
Nose: The nose is fruity, nutty and autumnal. Considering how strong the whiskey is, the bouquet is surprisingly subtle and laid back. I sense in it mushy plums, wild rosehips, caramelized macadamias, wet hay, sugared camomile tea and soft candle wax. To be honest, I am not sure if I would have identified the spirit as a bourbon if I had sniffed it unknowingly. One way or another, the nose is lovely and has me craving for the first sip.
Palate: Oh, peculiar! At first the spirit feels super-waxy and somewhat artificial in the mouth, like liquid modelling clay. With time, more notes unfold. Pumpernickel with marmalade spread. Roasted sunflower seeds. Camomile-soaked tea bags. Wild strawberries. Clotted cream. Cereal bars. I am quite intrigued, I must say!
Finish: Half-long and smooth. During the finish, the whiskey develops a fresh criteria (parsley and mint leaves) that chimes in pretty well with the fruity, nutty and waxy qualities. This stuff is as cool as it is unique.
Type: Bourbon Whiskey
Region: Tennessee (USA)
Age: 7 Years (2011/2018)
Alc. volume: 61.3%
Bottle size: 0.7 litres
# of Bottles: 216
Price range: ~70.00 Euro
More info: https://eldvatten.se/ (Website)