Nordic Whisky #8 - Spirit of Hven Seven Stars No. 1 Dubhe
Spirit of Hven Seven Stars No. 1 Dubhe, NAS, 45 %
On the small island Hven, in the middle of Øresund, between Sweden and Denmark, there is a distillery called Backafallsbyn AB. They make whisky under the brand Spirit of Hven. This is the second release from them (see also my review of the first release).
Spirit of Hven Seven Stars No. 1 Dubhe was released in March 2013. This is the first of seven annual releases that will be named after the stars in the asterism Big Dipper (or The Plough, or in Scandinavia - Karlsvognen). This first release is named after the star Dubhe. The releases will continue for seven years, until 2019, and each will have a special character differentiating them from previous expressions.
Dubhe is about 4,5 years old, but there is no age statement on the bottle. It is medium peated (about 12-15 ppm). It has mainly been matured in American oak, but there are a few barrels of both French and Spanish oak in the mix. All barrels are initially new oak, but the distillery then initially uses to mature their 'generic' grain spirit on these barrels for a year, before using the barrels for maturing whisky. The grain spirit is subsequently sold as gin, vodka and aquavit. The gin and aquavit are actually very nice products, well worth seeking out.
Spirit of Hven Seven Stars No. 1 Dubhe is still available at Systembolaget at SEK 795 (item number 85805).
Nose (22/25): Fruity, well-rounded. There is a thin and welcoming layer of smoke covering the aromas here. I find leather (quite a lot), vanilla, honey, orange, strawberries and a hint of licorice. It is very soft and appealing.
Taste (21/25): Mild and friendly smoke. Lots of fruit, especially oranges, and some vanilla and a dollop of runny honey.
Finish (21/25): Medium long, still quite fruity. The oranges keep dominating, but they are now accompanied by lemons. The finish is peppery as well.
Balance (21/25): A very nice, young whisky. It shall be very interesting to follow the Seven Stars series in the coming years.
Sláinte! - Thomas