Nordic Whisky #140 - Spirit of Hven Seven Stars No. 5 Alioth
Spirit of Hven Seven Stars No. 5 Alioth, NAS, 45 %
Just a few weeks ago, on March 3, Swedish Distillery Backafallsbyn AB - Spirit of Hven released this whisky. The Spirit of Hven Seven Stars No. 5 Alioth is the fifth annual release in the Seven Stars series. I have previously reviewed the other four stars released up to now (Dubhe, Merak, Phecda and Megrez).
The Spirit of Hven Seven Stars No. 5 Alioth is a limited release, with only 3167 bottles in total. A mix of different malt went into the mix to make this whisky: 8% Chocolate malt, 48% Peated malt and 44% Lager malt. For maturation different types of oak and cask types were used: 10,8% French Petraea, 25,6% French Robur and 63,6% American Muehlenbergii. The whisky was finished in 500 litre marrying casks made of Spanish Quercus Robur, that had previously held dry Oloroso Sherry.
This is a rather peaty whisky for this distillery, at a relatively heavy 34 ppm. As always from Spirit of Hven, this whisky has not been subjected to any carbon- or chill filtering, and colour has been added. It is also certified organic and natural.
Here is what they say at the distillery to explain the name:
It has got its name from the star Alioth in the asterism Ursa Major (the Plough). The name derives from the Arabic, alyat, meaning “the tail of a sheep” referring to the position in the asterism. Alioth is the brightest star in the constellation and no.31 amongst stars visible from Earth. This star is known to the Hindus as Añgiras, one of the Seven Rishis. Described as a teacher of divine knowledge and a mediator between men and gods. Seven has always been a sacred number. The Ancient philosophers called the classical celestial bodies (besides Earth, the ones visible without a telescope) the seven stars. These also gave name to the weekdays.
In the Book of Revelation the stars symbolize the seven churches, the reason we still have seven-branched candelabras. There are three constellations in the sky that we generally refer to as “the Seven Stars”. The first is the seven brightest stars in the asterism Ursa Major (Great Bear). If you draw an imaginary line from Merak through Dubhe and about 5 times the space, you will find the North Star (Polar Star) the last star of the second asterism, Ursa Minor (Smaller She-Bear). The third is the Pleiades. The seven stars also plays a part in the symbolism of Odd Fellows, Free Masons etc.
You can buy the Spirit of Hven Seven Stars No. 5 Alioth in Sweden at SEK 795 (4004702).
Nose: Oooh, it tickles. Not by far as peaty as expected. The peat is laid back, more chocolate like in character, perhaps with a dash of cold, rich coffee. Nice maltiness as well. Cinnamon, plums and marshmallows. It is very well behaved and balanced.
Taste: Full bodied and creamy mouthfeel. This dram is big! I love the oiliness or butter-like character. There's more chocolate smoke and hints of ground, roasted coffee beans.
Finish: Medium long finish. It just keeps on keepin' on. A tad cooler now, and a bit lighter. Hints of tobacco leaves, grass, menthol and caramel.
Comments: Spirit of Hven has an impressive progression through this Seven Stars series! Where will this end? All I can say is; bring it on!
Sláinte! - Thomas