This is a short recap of my visit to the Malmö Beer and Whisky Festival, held in Malmö on the 25-26 of march. Some whiskies were consumed and we even had dessert. Well, kind of, anyway.
Let me just get it out of the way; I like beer as much as the next guy, but at a festival with hundreds of whiskies to choose from, I wasn’t going to waste palate space on anything other than whiskies. So, the only thing sampled besides whisky was a Stout called ”Carrot cake”. The name is extremely accurate, because it’s just like a dessert and way too sweet for my palate, and it really tasted just like carrot cake with frosting. I only tasted it because an old friend asked me to.
Now to the whisky side of things. I wasn’t able to take a lot of pictures or take notes, since the place was packed to the brim and I walked around with a whisky glass in one hand and a bottle of water in the other. This means that I will not give a total rundown of every whisky vendor that was there. I’ll just focus on the whiskies I tasted, because that’s what I’ll take with me from the event.
Wetting the whistle
We arrived at the venue about 1.30 p.m. and when we arrived we got a complementary whisky glass with the festival logo to use as a tasting glass. A very nice shape, big bowl and a top slightly bigger than a standard glencairn (we got to keep the glass which was a nice touch and a nice memory of the event). At first I needed to reset the palate before going into the heavies, so I started with a Craigellachie 17 YO followed by a Bruichladdich The Classic Laddie. After that we decided to have some lunch before continuing (we had some burritos from one of the food vendors, in case you are wondering). Plenty of water later we set out on the next whisky round.
Let’s try that one!
We really didn’t have a plan for what order, or what whiskies to try. It’s always nice to venture outside of Scotland to try new things though, so we started with Amrut Fusion from india followed by the danish Braunstein 18:2. The Amrut had flavours a-plenty and the Braunstein felt a bit underwhelming despite a wholesome 60 ppm. After that we decided to try two of the Glenfiddich Experimental Series; IPA Experiment and Project XX, and the first mentioned was my least favourite of all the whiskies tasted that day. On my palate IPA and whisky doesn’t mix well.
We then went on to try the unreleased seasonal bottling from Mackmyra, Sweden’s first, and most famous, distillery. The bottling is called ”Äppelblom”, which means Apple blossom. The whisky is finished in casks saturated in Calvados, hence the name.
We are the big spenders!
After a short break we then decided to buy more coupons (venue currency) and go on a big spender spree; To try the old, the rare and the expensive ones.
The first one wasn’t perticulary old (14 YO), but rare indeed. The Old Pulteney Ambassador’s Cask 2004 Selected by the swedish whisky magazine ”Allt om whisky” (Everything about whisky). 300 bottles were filled from the cask. The magazine made a great choice.
After that my friend chose the Balblair Vintage 1991, 3rd Release, bottled in 2018. Some computing and math stuff reveals that it equates to about 27 years in hibernation. Good stuff, but not mind blowing though.
Burning holes in our pockets
Now we arrive at the really costly part of the tour. My friend chose the Laphroaig 25 YO and I chose the 22 YO Springbank 1995 – Refill Sherry Hogshead from independent bottler Svenska Eldvatten (Swedish firewater). These were definitely best in show, with the Springbank coming out on top (my friend would disagree with that last statement though).
And now to the finish. The oldest one tried, the AnCnoc 35 YO 2nd release, was very nice, but not amazingly spectacular. We also tried the AnCnoc Peatheart, which was nice and peaty. The Highland Park 25 YO delivered and was nothing short of fantastic. The last one tasted was Macallan Rare Cask. It was an easy sipper, but I expected better for that kind of money.
The after hours
With our palates getting a bit saturated with whisky flavours we took a cab ride back to my friend’s place. We listened to some music and kept on drinking whisky. One of each; Bowmore 25 YO, Octomore_8.2 Masterclass, Balvenie 16 YO Triple Wood and Kura the Whisky made the end trail of a fantastic day. I’m already counting the days until the next festival!