The Society’s search for incredible and intriguing whiskies from beyond Scotland’s shores continues, with our latest new distillery bottling: Cask No. 154.1: Dark cherry Danish pastry.
This comes from a distillery on the Danish island of Fyn, which you’d pass through if you were on the way west from Copenhagen to the Society’s Members’ Room at Vejle. It’s very much a micro distillery, doing things its own way since it started operating in 2015.
First of all, it prides itself on being an organic spirit producer, avoiding any trace of pesticides or chemicals. The owners believe the difference is in the taste, having compared new spirit produced with conventionally-grown malt with its organically-grown equivalent.
Fermentation times are lengthy – typically twice as long as you’d find in a Scottish distillery – in the quest for “fewer unwanted flavours from the yeast cells” carrying over into the fermentation process.
Finally, they mature their whisky in 50-litre casks that are rebuilt from old bourbon, sherry and port casks, with the expectation that the smaller volume leads to a more rapid maturation. They believe this ratio of wood-surface to spirit-volume can produce a similar whisky in only three to four years that would take 12 years of maturation in a 250-litre cask.
For the Society’s first bottling, Cask No. 154.1: Dark cherry Danish pastry is the result of whisky matured for five years in seven separate 50-litre Pedro Ximenez sweet sherry casks, before the whisky was combined, spending its final 10 months in a full-sized PX hogshead.
“We’re delighted to welcome a brand-new distillery to the SMWS and only thesecond Danish distillery that we’ve ever bottled from, after Cask No. 141.1: Dramlet: the Dark Prince of Denmark! in early 2020,” says Society head of whisky creation, Euan Campbell. “It’s always really exciting to welcome a new distillery, especially with an introductory bottle that very much fits within the Society’s manifesto to do things differently. In this case, the maturation in separate 50-litre PX casks and then a final 10 months in a PX hogshead has given the whisky really concentrated flavours at only five-years old.”
The Tasting Panel’s notes tell their own story of luscious, dark flavours: “The nose neat had plenty to offer with prune juice, dark honey, molasses, dried cherries, hints of thyme, aniseed, and cloves while, lurking in the background, sizzling unsmoked Danish bacon rashers. As did the palate, massive, very chewy, and very tasty indeed, like a dark rich stout with toasted malt and liquorice flavours. Following reduction, the aroma had plenty of herbal notes reminiscent of cough medicine or a root beer. The taste was that of fresh tayberry jam served on waffles and in the finish a delicious dark cherry and Greek yoghurt Danish pastry.”
Welcome to distillery 154 and a spirit that embodies the Society’s sense of adventure.