The Swedish oak and its effect on the whisky

Malin Åberg

A key component in Mackmyra’s mission to create whisky with a Swedish identity is the use of Swedish oak. During the 1800s, the Swedish government planted large numbers of oak trees for the supply of wood to the naval dockyards of the future.

When, in 1975, the trees had finished growing and were ready to be used ship building had advanced considerably, and the oak was no longer a viable material for this purpose. As a result, some of these oaks can now be found in Mackmyra’s whisky casks.

When compared to its American counterpart, Swedish oak contains less xylose and lignin, substances which are also known as wood sugar. These elements imbue the whisky with less of the sweet vanilla notes that are found in American oak. Instead Swedish oak is revered for its spicy notes of black pepper, cardamon and nutmeg, as well as its toffee-like sweetness and almond notes.

The unique attributes of the Swedish oak combined with those of American oak have become widely appreciate when featured in Mackmyra’s whiskies over the years – Svensk Ek to name one of them.

/ Malin Åberg, Marketing Coordinator