Nordic Whisky #5 - Spirit of Hven Urania
Spirit of Hven Urania - First Release, NAS, 45 %
Time now for the second Swedish whisky in my Nordic Whisky review series. This time I am looking at Spirit of Hven Urania - First release. This is the first single malt from the distillery Spirit of Hven. It was released in Sweden in March 2012, as a limited edition of 4444 bottles at 50 cl. A total of 15 barrels went into this release, and the whisky is just on the right side of 3 years.
The whisky is named after Urania, the muse of astronomy and a daughter of Zeus and Mnemosyne, in Greek mythology. The link is that Uraniborg (Uranienborg) is the name of a castle/observatory on the small island of Hven, near the distillery. This was the observatory of the famous astronomer Tycho Brahe.
The bottle itself is quite interesting. It looks like something straight out of a medieval laboratory. All 4444 bottles are signed by hand - what dedication from the distillery manager!
This whisky is more or less sold out everywhere by now, although you might find some bottles online. At launch it was priced at SEK 1895 in Sweden, and about the same in Denmark. A few bottles where available in the UK, and sold at GBP 160. For some reason (probably a clerical error) it was sold at NOK 392 in Norway! That's less that a quarter of the price in Sweden. Usually you will find that everything, no matter what, is always more expensive in Norway than anywhere else - in the world. I did not complain when I found out though.
Nose (22/25): Malt, cereals, freshly baked bread (no off-notes though, this is a good association for me). Vanilla, peaches, mild spices. This is a slow starter, so give it plenty of time in the glass. After 30-60 minutes it is really starting to open up, and the result is very positive.
Taste (21/25): Soft and delicate on one hand, but at the same time quite spicy. Lots of pepper and ginger.
Finish (20/25): Not that sweet really, just a hint of sugar. The ginger is really prominent - and I love ginger, so no complaints. I do find some hints of citrus here as well. The finish is medium long, and it just sort of slips away. I was hoping for a little more here.
Balance (21/25): A nice whisky, young but still quite interesting. The finish does disappoint a bit, but I was not surprised given the fact that this whisky is barely three years old. I must admit I have a couple of these stowed away on a shelf - the price here in Norway was unbeatable.
Sláinte! - Thomas