HIGHFERN LIMITED

Just Landed: Three new releases from Smögen Whisky

Smögen 100 Proof - Swedish Single Malt Whisky 57.1%
Smögen’s trademark heavily peated optic barley, matured in Oloroso Sherry Quarter casks, and bottled at the traditional 100 Proof, aka 57.1%.

In August Smögen reached an important milestone, the tenth anniversary of their first distillation. Given the current situation celebrations were subdued. Whilst the 100 Proof, their latest release, is not a ten years old, the milestone is nevertheless reflected in the increasing scale of this release, of over 2400 bottles. Compared to other distillers, that is small, but this is the largest Smögen release to date, a shift change in bottling size. So this bottling marks a coming of age for Smögen. It is also interesting to note that despite the high strength of 57.1%, this is not cask strength, it is one of only a few Smögen releases bottled at reduced strength.

With the 100 Proof the small 120 litre sherry casks, and the interaction they have had with the spirit, has refined the heavy peat. No peaty iodine here, instead the sherry quarter casks give this whisky an elegant sophistication, which with a little water evolves into an indulgent sticky toffee pudding.

Smögen Single Cask No. 12, 2011 Cask 48 Swedish Single Malt Whisky 61%
Local barley, grown literally on the distillery’s doorstep, matured in a first fill former Bourbon barrel.

Normally the beauty of maturing in bourbon is the limited comparative impact of the wood on the whisky, thus allowing the distillery’s other influences to play their part on the flavour of the malt. The theory goes Bourbon cask bottlings let you savour the raw naked flavour of the distillery.

That said with this dram I find it’s the beautiful vanilla sweetness of the cask that emerges first on the nose, whilst the peat, in this case of the soapy, earthy and burning embers variety, follows on the taste and finish. At 61% this is not a shy dram, and a more than worthy ambassador for the barley farmers of Hunnebostrand.

Kinghaven Rum - Diamond Distillery, Versailles Still, 15YO Single Cask 59.2%
With Kinghaven, Smögen distiller and proprietor Pär Caldenby selects single casks of rum to finish in Swedish oak and independently bottle. This bottling was distilled in Guyana at the Diamond distillery in their Versailles still, which intriguingly is one of two remaining wooden pot stills worldwide, and over 250 years old.

So this Rum has a most unusual and interesting pedigree, but it also delivers a wonderful wholesome citrusy sweetness with hints of chocolate. One to savour!

Amongst others for these new releases try Master of Malt and Nickolls & Perks alongside our own on-line store.

Cheers!

Robert Ransom
October 2020