Nordic Whisky #41 - Spirit of Hven Seven Stars No. 3 Phecda
Spirit of Hven Seven Stars No. 3 Phecda, NAS, 45 %
Here it is then, the third star in the Seven Stars project from Swedish distillery Spirit of Hven Backafallsbyn AB. The first two of these annual releases have been reviewed previously in our Nordic Whisky series; Dubhe and Merak.
The Spirit of Hven Seven Stars No. 3 Phecda is a an even more limited release than the previous release. Where the Merak was made from 25 casks, the Phecda is limited to only 12 casks. The whisky was matured in a mix of American Oak (Quercus Muehlenbergii from Missouri) and French Oak (Quercus Petraea from Allier). As always there is no chill-filtering and no coloring.
The names of the whiskies in this series are taken from the stars in the asterism Ursa Major (Big Dipper / The Plough). Here is what the distillery says about the name Phecda:
The name Phecda derives from the arabic fakhð ad-dubb (خذ ف دب ال) meaning ”thigh of the bear” referring to the star's position in the asterism. Since 1943 the spectrum of Phecda has been used to classify all other stars. Phecda is reminiscent of our sun but somewhat hotter and bigger.
This is medium peated whisky. It was distilled in 2008, which makes it around 6-6.5 years old. This whisky is sold in 50 cl bottles.
The Spirit of Hven Seven Stars No. 3 Phecda was released in Sweden on March 6, and is available to buy at SEK 795 (item number 10446). Release date in Noway was May 8, with a very limited number of 18 bottles making its way over here. The price in Norway is NOK 999 (item number 2242802).
Nose (21/25): Soft peat and light oakiness hits the nose at first sniff. Slightly salty, a bit of chocolate. Give it more time in the glass and I also detect salt licorice, and a bit more spiciness. It does have a bit of sweetness to it, but I am hard pressed to be very specific here - I think I'll leave it at sweet licorice and soft oaky notes. Given even more time in the glass it picks up a whiff of perfume - something floral or herbal.
Taste (22/25): Pepper, diluted orange juice, floral notes, and a very pleasant soft smokiness. The mouthfeel is quite rich, and a bit chewy.
Finish (21/25): Medium long finish that becomes a bit dry towards the end. Lightly fruity, with some salt licorice and pepper added. Slightly oaky and herbal right at the end. Cool rather than warm.
Balance (21/25): A bit similar to Merak, but slightly more 'narrow' in character.
Sláinte! - Thomas