Thanks to /u/distillasian for this sample.
Iceland is a mythical place in a real world. We’re fed pictures of a volcanic land that is owned by beautiful people with amazing facial hair and Nordic features. We hear stories of them fighting corruption, living off the land, and being the heirs to Vikings.
I spent 17 hours on a layover in Iceland. And while I saw the alien landscapes, the massive buildings, and the beautiful people, I also got to understand a little bit of the culture.
Among other things, everything we purchased was high quality. Buy a coffee? Well, it’ll cost you $7, but you better be certain it’ll be well made and quite tasty, made with iceberg water, the best coffee that could be shipped in, and fresh as Hell.
Thus when it came time to ask about whisky, Flóki Young Malt Spirit caught my attention. Unfortunately an Octomore did as well, and their Gin did third, and my wife and I are now at our limit. Thus it was left.
I’ve since wondered if I made a mistake. My wife enjoyed the gin well enough, however did I miss my chance to try part of Iceland? Given the quality, could the young malt be good, like the other very expensive things I bought in Reykjavik?
Flóki Young Malt Spirit is the initial offering from Eimverk Distillery, which was founded in 2009. This is not yet old enough to be whisky. It’s aged in New American oak barrels, made from 100% Icelandic barley, and is the only single malt from the country. Icelandic barley is low in sugar, so they have to use more barley per bottle to make it.
So let’s see how their initial offering tastes, shall we?
Price: N/A at the LCBO
Colour: 10YR 7/6
Nose: Alcohol/nail polish remover, potato/grain, corn, lard, lime, wood
Still young. Hasn’t had enough time to develop much on the nose. It’s quite hard to nose this, but eventually some wood and light notes are there.
Taste: Pepper, roses, burn, wood, cola
Initial note of pepper isn’t a big surprise. However the roses, wood, and cola are quite nice. They are different. The floral rosewater note is different enough.
Finish: Butter, lime, hot, wood, vinegar, mint
Finishes off nicely. Granted it’s still quite hot, even at the non-cask strength level. Wood is the main note, with lots of lime and mint notes, and butter to even it out.
Conclusion: This is rough. It needs additional time, even to give you some idea of what it’ll eventually be. I’ll give it to Elmverk, they are going to have a long period of time to really develop their whisky. The floral aspect on the taste, and the butter on the finish give me hope.
I’d recommend waiting until their first whisky is out in November 2017, and try it instead.
World Whisky review #213, Iceland review #1, Whisky Network review #1018