Yes! Young malts taste Great!
So, with that out of the way, the good people from @SmogenWhiskyUK sent me a couple of samples recently from their ‘Sherry Project’.
The malts sampled were:-
- Smogen Svensk Single Malt Whisky – Sherry Project 1:1
- Smogen Svensk Single Malt Whisky – Sherry Project 1:2
With a heavily peated style, this first release of a mini-series was designed to explore the impact of sherry cask maturation and finishing on Smögen Svensk Single Malt Whisky.
Sherry Project 1:1 was initially matured for two years and ten months in new heavily roasted 120 litre Quarter casks, made from European Oak, before being transferred and finished for four months in an Oloroso sherry butt.
Johan Borgemo from Whiskynorden had this to say about the finished product: ‘This is a very good whisky. I’ve said it before and I’ll say it again – Pär Caldenby & co. can really distil whisky in absolute class, there is no doubt. I will follow Smögen with eager anticipation.’
Sherry Project 1:1 is limited to 900 500ml bottles, of which 600 sold within 21 hours of being released in Sweden’s Systembolaget, in November 2014.
Like Sherry Project 1:1, Sherry Project 1:2 was initially matured in new heavily roasted 120 litre Quarter casks, but has been finished for longer, for eight months, again in an Oloroso Sherry Butt.
Sherry Project 1:2 went on sale in Sweden’s Systembolaget in March, with a release of 744 of the 880 bottles produced.
Still to come is Sherry Project 1:3 which will be finished for 12 months and bottled in Summer 2015.
Lastely, Sherry Project 1:4, will be released as a four year old whisky and will be matured entirely in Sherry casks, starting with Quarter casks and then married together for six months in another Sherry Butt.
It is due for release late 2015.
So, what did I think?
Here are my tasting notes …
Tasting Notes – Smogen Svensk Single Malt Whisky – Sherry Project 1:1 ( 51.8% )
Nose: Deep golden sherry colour. Peaty earthness abounds with a hint of smoke and spice. There’s a bit of fruit on the nose as well and a touch of molasses.
Palate: Thick, rich Xmas cakey sweetness, all sugary sultanas & plenty of spice!
Finish: The sweetness is joined by a fiery, rich, dry, oak n’spice with a little bit of tobacco.
Overall: Quite the fiesty dram this one! Great rich sherry sweetness but it also has a nice, raw, rock n’ roll edge to it that could become habit forming!
Tasting Notes – Smogen Svensk Single Malt Whisky – Sherry Project 1:2 ( 55.7% )
Nose: Much sweeter nose than 1:1 with vanilla and caramel with a little beeswax taking prominence. It’s certainly more oaky than peaty – quite a difference!
Palate: The same thick rich Xmas cakey sweetness, sugary sultanas & spice with a little touch of aniseed.
Finish: The sweetness is still there and the overall taste is much smoother. The fieryness is now more of a spicy pepper.
Overall: The high alcohol content of these malts sure packs a punch there’s no denying! The extra time in a sherry butt has certainly made a difference though – it’s rounded off the edges nicely!
Mmmm … it’s very hard to choose – I like the smoother 1:2 but then again I also have a fondness for the kick-ass, in-your-face fieriness of the 1:1.
I guess it’s a bit of tomato / tomato or maybe Svensk / Swedish but I’m going to plump for the 1:1!
Either way, you can’t go wrong, Sweden may be an un-familar country regarding the production of malt whisky and young drams they may be but don’t let this put you off sampling these excellent malts!
You can catch up with Smogen on Twitter (@SmogenWhiskyUK)
Many thanks to Robert (@wrobertransom) for sending the samples!
Smogen is currently available to buy from these Whisky Merchants:-