Nordic Whisky #4 - Agder Audny Series 1
Agder Audny Series 1 – Single Cask, 3 YO, 46 %
Agder Brenneri released the first ever Norwegian single malt whisky just before Christmas of 2012. This is a historic moment, in my view. I think it is high time that Norway had a whisky distillery selling single malt. The Swedes and Danes have quite a lead on us, so we need to do some serious catching up!
Agder Brenneri was established back in 1951, and have mainly produced apple juice, cider and apple wine. In 2005 they managed to break the 80-year-old Norwegian state monopoly on spirit production. I imagine the battle against the authorities to achieve this was a long and hard one.
They started producing spirits on November 5 2005, and whisky production started in 2009. In addition to whisky they produce and sell Aquavit and various fruit based spirits. The whisky production is very limited.
Agder Audny Series 1 has been matured in a single ex-sherry butt (cask #39). The outturn was 1750 bottles at 35 cl.
There are still a few bottles left for sale at the Vinmonopolet in Norway, at NOK 477 for a 35 cl bottle (item number 201302).
Nose (22/25): It all starts off quite promising. I quite like the nose on this whisky. There's a pleasant sweetness with mild spices. The sherry influence from the cask is certainly noticeable. After a few minutes in the glass I start picking up a few more aromas; it was a bit timid at first. Now I find leather, malt, some oakiness, Bran Flakes and other cereals with a few bits of dried fruit sprinkled on top. There is also the slightest hint of smoke here. It's good!
Taste (20/25): Warm, sherried and quite sweet. Banana and banana cake (minus the cream filling). Lacking in complexity, and the alcohol is a bit too prominent. You can definitely tell this is a young whisky.
Finish (19/25): A few more elements do enter the scene here; mild caramel, sugar and some fruits. The finish is slightly metallic, it brings to mind well-chewed wooden pencils - the type we used to have in elementary school. The finish is rather quick, again showing the young age.
Balance (20/25): I think this is a good first attempt at releasing a Norwegian single malt whisky. It will be interesting to see what Agder Brenneri will bring to market next. Hopefully we will see a more mature, slightly older whisky. It is good to have Norway on the world whisky map, finally!
Sláinte! - Thomas