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Issue 73 - Flying the flag

Whisky Magazine Issue 73
July 2008


This article is 10 years old and some information provided may be time sensitive. Please check all details of events, tours, opening times and other information before travelling or making arrangements.

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Flying the flag

Sweden has always been serious about its whisky but now it has a distillery of its own that it can be truly proud of Dominic Roskrow visited Mackmyra.

It's like something you might see in James Bond films. We travel north of Stockholm on a surreal journey on straight fir treelined roads where the light pierces only intermittently.

A combination of tiredness from an early morning flight and the semi-light give the landscape a dreamlike other-worldliness.

We're a long way north and it feels like it. And then we turn off what you could loosely refer to as the main road and take a track towards what looks like a mineshaft.And that's because it is.

Our track cuts into the side of the hill until we can no longer be seen from the road,and we pull up to a huge metal doorway covering the entranceway to what is, indeed, a mine. Huge enough for large lorries to drive into.

There's a constant backdrop of water flowing through the rock and pumps to take it away. It's damp and cold, the underground artificial lighting giving you the impression of being in some subterranean spy centre or underground lab. If the Americans had a problem with Bruichladdich, heaven knows what they'd make of this. It's awesome.

Welcome toMackmyra and one of the most unusual maturing warehouses in the world, a stunning example of making the most of resources available.And as we shall see, it's not the only part of the Mackmyra operation where resourcefulness has contributed to a whisky made the weird and wacky Swedish way.

In actual fact, using the disused mine makes a lot of sense.The cool temperature is constant all the year round, and the many corridor...

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