It’s nearly time to open door number 12 on your Drinks by the Dram Whisky Advent Calendars! This dram hails from a Nordic spot known for the Northern Lights, Ikea, ABBA and, most importantly, lip-smacking whisky.
Well, that’s it. We’re officially half-way through Advent! If you’ve still got Christmas shopping to do, this is your call to arms. What have you been doing all this time? Go, go! If you’re one of those uber organised folk, then you can reward yourself with opening the 12th door of your Drinks by the Dram Whisky Advent Calendar, and treat yourself to some tasty Swedish whisky with a pretty… apple-ing cask finish (sorry).
Today’s dram is… Mackmyra Äppelblom!
Mackmyra is a pretty awesome Swedish distillery, breaking new ground all the time. Did you know it’s even got its very own super futuristic gravity distillery, built in 2011 at 35 metres tall. Like the name suggests, the eco-friendly distillery uses gravity throughout the whisky making process, with the raw ingredients entering at the top, and the new make collected at the bottom. The heat generated during production is even used to heat the premises, which is pretty nifty.
It’s no surprise then that the folks over at the distillery have been known to try out some cool cask finishes, namely in the form of Mackmyra Äppelblom! Äppelblom means apple blossom, which makes more sense when you find out that, after ageing in bourbon and new American oak casks, the Swedish single malt was finished in oak casks which previously held Calvados.
This wasn’t just any old Calvados, but spirit from one of the world’s leading Calvados producers, none other than Christian Drouin. Prepare yourselves for a whole load of spiced orchard fruits over here. Get your hot toddy glasses out and pair this one with warm apple juice for a winter warmer, or follow UK sales manager Alex Johnson’s advice on the perfect Äppelblom serve. We managed to grab a chat with Johnson to tell us more about all things Mackmyra.
Master of Malt: A Calvados cask-finished whisky! What can we expect flavour-wise?
Alex Johnson: Apples abound with strudel and custard, then cedar, soft spices, vanilla, pear and a touch of citrus.
MoM: What’s your favourite way to drink Äppelblom?
AJ: Chill a glass and pour in a good measure. Serve with banana bread dipped in sea-salted extra virgin olive oil – you’ll wonder how you ever lived without it!
MoM: What was a Mackmyra highlight of 2019?
AJ: The creation and launch of Intelligens, the world’s first A.I. whisky was a very special event and another first for Mackmyra.
MoM: Can we expect more fun cask finishes from Mackmyra in 2020?
AJ: Of course, innovation is at our core. Angela’s not revealed what they’ll be just yet but we know they’ll be our best yet.
MoM: What’s your favourite Christmas cocktail?
AJ: A Margarita is a perfect way to get the day going but in the evening that try stirring some Äppelblom down with Angostura bitters, a pinch of sea salt and a dash of crème de banane. Serve on the rocks with slices of dried banana – it’s essentially an apple and banana Old Fashioned, but we call it a Bonita Äppelblom.
Mackmyra Äppelblom Tasting note:
Nose: Toasted oak and orchard fruits galore, namely apple and pear with a hint of lemon, delicate floral notes with sweet vanilla and toffee.
Palate: Well rounded fruity and spicy notes continue with the marriage of pear and citrus. Cedar wood emerges alongside aniseed, caramelised almonds, white pepper and ginger spiciness.
Finish: Spicy tones linger with gentle oak and zesty lemon and apple.