13th December: Mackmyra, Special 09: Wild Raspberry. 46.1% ABV
From: Sweden. Type: Swedish malt whisky. Source: Distillery sample
It’s not wild and there are no raspberries in it. Apart from that, the name is spot on. It is special, though, and it is the 9th in the Special series. And be sure: Mackmyra Swedish whisky is on the map. And one person, who happens to be a friend of mine, has been instrumental in this. Angela d’Orazio.
It’s not just me saying this, Jim Murray, he of the Whisky Bible, one man’s annual assessment of all the whiskies anyone can humanly lay there hands on, says so in the dedication to the Whisky Bible 2013. So if you haven’t already tried Swedish malt whisky, get with the programme!
Why wild raspberry, if this is a “straight” malt whisky? Well, forest berries are dear to the hearts of most Swedes, to whom foraging comes as second nature. In Sweden, in the late Summer, when going out to the woods to find and pick your own fruit, you will find blueberries, lingonberries, and if you’re lucky, wild strawberries, and if you’re very lucky: wild raspberries.
And there is a forest berry character to this elegant whisky. Raspberries? yes, but I couldn’t say wild or tame. The 09 is also delicately sweet with aromatic spices from the cask. Perhaps with Winter revealing its claws, your hand reaches for a muscular, peaty Islay, but your thoughts turn to Summer. And this is the whisky to transport you there without fear of being fogbound at Gatwick.
All the whiskies in the Special seriess are worth trying, which is my roundabout way of saying, the Wild Raspberry seems particularly hard to find in the UK. But if you find one, I’m sure you’ll thank Angela.
Mackmyra’s own page for Wild Raspberry (in English)