Nordic Whisky #170 - Flóki Icelandic Young Malt Sheep Dung Smoked Reserve
Flóki Icelandic Young Malt Sheep Dung Smoked Reserve, NAS, 47 %
On rare occasions a truly unique new development will materialize, even in the very traditional business of whisky production. One such recent development is the novel way of creating a smoky (not peaty) whisky at Eimverk Distillery on Iceland.
On Iceland there are a lot of sheep and thus lots of sheep dung. Dried sheep dung has been used for centuries as a source of heating on Iceland, just like peat in Scotland. At Eimverk they have decided to use dried sheep dung to smoke the malt when they produce their smoky spirit! Yep, you read that right - dried sheep shit. I just love the whole concept!
Just as with the Floki Young Icelandic Malt, this product is not a whisky. It is a young spirit at around one year old. Eimverk uses the Young Malt to season or break-in their fresh oak casks, before the casks are refilled with newmake that shall ultimately become Icelandic whisky.
The easiest way to pick up a bottle of Flóki Icelandic Young Malt Sheep Dung Smoked Reserve is to shop at Keflavik Airport on Iceland. The price for a 50 cl bottle is ISK 9399, which is around € 75.
Nose: Unmistakable notes of fresh oak and young malt, but it is also good quality stuff. The sheep dung smoke does not smell shit at all, which I guess would be your first question. There is a distinct smoky character to the spirit, that is for sure. I would describe it as a strangely sweet, off-beat, dry-ish and "green" smokiness. I also find vanilla, mustard seeds and white pepper here.
Taste: Medium body and prickly-creamy (Hah!) mouthfeel. Again the strangely sweet and green smoke, now mixed with lots of pepper (white, black, rosé and light chili). Grass and mint.
Finish: Relatively short finish. A touch of smoky After Eight chocolate. Big oaky sweetness. It lands quickly and in a very tidy way. No loose ends here. It all comes to an end in a balanced way.
Comments: Again a very interesting product from Eimverk. I cannot wait to try their first single malt whisky, due for release in November 2017!
Sláinte! - Thomas