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Issue 101 - A Decade of Challenges

Whisky Magazine Issue 101
February 2012


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A Decade of Challenges

Martine Nouetheads to Sweden to find out what has been happening at the country's foremost distillery

It has been a while since Whisky Magazine visited Sweden's Mackmyra distillery.

At that time, in 2008 (see WM73 for the report by Dominic Roskrow) it was the country's sole distillery; now there are five.

With big expansion plans underway, it is interesting to find out where the distillery, started in 1998 by a group of university pals merely as a youth challenge, stands as we roll into 2012.

A lot can happen between visits and indeed it has. It is not a pure coincidence that Mackmyra 7, the last distillery bottling released is called ‘Hope'.

“Hope for the future,” Angela d'Orazio, the distillery master blender, explains.

“We have achieved a lot in a few years. We stayed more or less local until recently but now we have decided to expand to world markets. I was at Whisky Live in South Africa. I have been to Asia a couple of times as well, Mackmyra is now sold in New York and of course in Europe.” Mackmyra started its business by offering whisky clubs, restaurants and also individual customers the chance to buy 30 litre casks, with the possibility of coming to visit their ‘baby'. This offer was only available to Swedish people. But from 2011, foreigners were able to do the same. The international cask sale was launched on the website in spring.

However the big achievement in 2011 was the new distillery, officially opened on 18th December. An impressive tall glass and concrete building, erected in the middle of a fir forest, at Gävle, about 50 miles fro...

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