A big challenge facing the ever-growing and evolving whisky industry is that of overcoming those pesky stereotypes. Some stereotypes are welcomed, even celebrated, by the subject. As Stephen King once said to an interviewer enquiring if he was a drinker or not, “Of course, I just said I was a writer.” Other stereotypes are less helpful, especially for countries not traditionally associated with the production of whisky – Sweden perhaps being fairly high up that list. Swedes are known for a fondness of a drop of Akvavit (if you think that spelling bears some resemblance to aqua vitae – the “water of life” – you’d be right) or a seasonal snifter of Snaps but whisky isn’t part of that tradition – yet.
Sweden is still a land of few distilleries as far as whisky production goes but the quality of what is produced is not going unnoticed, and Mackmyra (mack-meera, people! Don’t make the same mistake we did) are leading the charge. Mackmyra will reach its 20th anniversary as a working distillery next year and produces a celebrated core range of peated and unpeated whisky, as well as several limited editions.
In this episode, we review the hot-off-the-shelves Mackmyra 10 Year and create a playlist of songs relating to the pop heaven that is Sweden. We were joined by Mackmyra Master Blender, Angela D’Orazio (@AngelasShare) who was kind enough to join us for a chat over Skype during a family holiday in Italy. Never let it be said This Is My Dram don’t know how to frankly impose themselves to an unreasonable extent on anyone who agrees to speak to them. Angela talked about her day-to-day work as a Master Blender (or Chief Nose Officer!), the thought process that went into creating Mackmyra 10 and what’s next for the Swedish producer at its fascinating visitor-focused distilleries.
The tracks that feature on the podcast, in full, are:
Andy’s 1st selection: The Knife – Heartbeats
Stu’s 1st selection: Robyn – Dancing on my Own
Angela D’Orazio’s selection: Annis Brander – Grace
Andy’s 2nd selection: Miike Snow – My Trigger
Stu’s 2nd selection: The Radio Dept. – Ewan
For the playlist, Andy and Stu selected some more glistening indie pop to sugarcoat your ears from the likes of The Cardigans, Movits! and Lykke Li.
We also cack-handedly selected and announced the winner of the first ever This Is My Dram Competition, with a fine prize of five drams from recent episodes of the podcast; Big Peat Christmas Edition 2016 , Nikka Pure Malt Black, Paul John Peated Select Cask, Nikka from the Barrel and Laphroaig Triple Wood. We hope the lucky winner enjoys their drams! Andy and Stu were thanking their own lucky stars, as the randomly selected, yet pleasingly local winner saved them a few quid on postage and packaging.
Thanks very much to Angela D’Orazio for joining us on this episode and frankly for producing a knockout whisky in the Mackmyra 10 Year.