Today, long-running Swedish whisky makers Mackmyra have launched their annual limited edition for the winter season of 2020. This year’s bottling is called Jaktlycka, which means “Good hunting!” in the native tongue of those who crafted the spirit. Jaktlycka is finished in … nah, I won’t tell you just now. Before I come to speak about Mackmyra’s latest offering in detail, let me take you back to August 26 and describe the lovely circumstances under which I sipped it. Cause on that day I participated in a special launch event. Taking place at Christiansen’s Fine Drinks & Cocktails, it was hosted by the bar’s owner Uwe and my friend Malte, who is a fellow blogger and a Mackmyra brand ambassador. In the last few years, I attended many great tastings at Christiansen’s. Yet, with corona coming along and wrapping its ugly fingers around the bar scene’s neck, I had not been there in months. Believe me when I say: It felt amazing to be back!
Upon my arrival, I was given a refreshing welcome drink based on Lab Gin, which is also made by Mackmyra. It kept me good company during Malte’s brief introduction in the course of which he told the attendees – more than 25 in the number – about himself and the Swedish distillery he represents. I was really happy to see so many folks showing up: After all, this was about the maximum amount of people that the Christiansen’s bar could hold under the current health and saftey regulations. Congrats to a very popular event, Uwe and Malte!
Before we met the star of the evening – the afore mentioned Jaktlycka – we softened our palates with two of Mackmyra’s previous Seasons releases. The first was the experimental Grönt Te, which was finished in sherry casks treated with tea leaves. As one of the distillery’s dedicated summer whiskies, it was light and delicate. I especially liked the fun bubblegum note that I sensed during all phases of the degustation. The second was Vintersol, a full-bodied winter’s dram with a port cask finish. It was rich with blood orange, strawberry, thyme and dried apricot all leading up to a dry, woody and spicy finish.
Then came Jaktlycka. It is made from over 99 per cent of unpeated whisky (called “Elegant” at Mackmyra) and just under one per cent of peated whisky (“Rök”). The finish – and now I am really going to tell you – happened in casks that previously held hunting wine. The latter is a variety of berry wine that is highly popular in Sweden. As Malte told us, the youngest malt in Jaktlycka’s vatting is five years old while the oldest is 14 years old – for a world whisky that is a pretty impressive number! And the age clearly shows in the nose and in the mouth. Time has taken the rough edges off the whisky and helped the alcohol to settle down. When sniffed, Jaktlycka presents itself sweet and savory with blueberry, pancake, icing sugar and crème brûlée. When sipped, it coats the mouth with ripe brambles and raspberries as well as toffee, vanilla and plum jelly. The intense aftertaste is long-lasting and good. Mackmyra have really struck all the right notes here – Jaktlycka is a bonafide bull’s eye hit! The only obstacle: At the time of the tasting, this Seasons scorcher was not yet available, so Malte could not sell it after the event. He did, however, hand out vouchers that granted the participants a little discount on a purchase from Mackmyra’s online shop. I have already redeemed mine.
After our degustation of Jaktlycka, we concluded the tasting with three single cask whiskies that are not officially for sale. They were drawn from Mackmyra’s signature 30 litre casks in which they slept for four or five years. From the beginning, these small vessels have been an important cornerstone of the distillery’s business: Mackmyra sells them to private persons eager to own their personal whisky barrel. The buyers can choose the recipe (unpeated or peated), cask type and storage location. To track the development of the spirit and find the ideal time to bottle it, the cask owners receive samples from Mackmyra two times per year. The three drops we had in the tasting were very diverse in regard to their character and appeal. Yet, they all rocked! If you are curious to learn more about the cask owner program, send Malte an e-mail. Promoting the private 30 litre casks to interested drammers is his key responsibility as a brand ambassador for Mackmyra.
Well, and that’s all from my side. In summary, this was was a fantastic event through and through. I loved how rich and tasty the selected drams were. I loved how knowledgable yet unobtrusive Malte led us through the evening. I loved how thoughtful and exemplary the attendees stuck to the corona restrictions. And – last but certainly not least – I loved how wonderful it felt to attend a whisky tasting again in one of my favorite bars in town!
Lab Distillery Organic Gin & Tonic (Welcome drink)
Mackmyra Grönt Te (Single Malt / Sweden / NAS / Tea-seasoned cask finish / 46.1% / ~55 Euro)
Mackmyra Vintersol (Single Malt / Sweden / NAS / Port finish / 46.1% / ~60 Euro)
Mackmyra Jaktlycka (Single Malt / Sweden / NAS / Berry wine finish / 46.1% / ~60 Euro)
Mackmyra 4yo Single Cask “Elegant” (Single M. / Sweden / 4yo / Port finish / 52.2% / Not for sale)
Mackmyra 5yo Single Cask “Elegant” (Single M. / Sweden / 5yo / Oloroso cask / 45% / Not for sale)
Mackmyra 5yo Single Cask “Rök” (Single M. / Sweden / 5yo / Bourbon cask / 46.6% / Not for sale)