Swedish oak adds a touch of spice

Malin Åberg

A given component in Mackmyra’s hunt for whisky with a Swedish identity
is Quercus Robur, the Swedish oak. During the 19th century, the Swedish
Crown commissioned the planting of large numbers of oak trees, in order to ensure a good supply of timber for the Swedish navy’s future shipbuilding activities. But by the time the trees were fully grown and ready for use in 1975, boat building had taken great strides forward, and oak was therefore no longer needed for naval vessels.

As a result, some of these oaks can now be found in Mackmyra’s whisky casks. In comparison with the American oak, the Swedish oak has less
of substances such as xylose and lignin. The level of these substances, which are also called wood sugar, means that the whisky acquires less of the sweet vanilla notes that occur with American oak. The Swedish oak is instead loved for its spicy notes of black pepper, cardamon and nutmeg, and for
its caramel-like sweetness and notes of almond.

The Swedish oak’s unique expression, in combination with that of the American version, has over the years become a real favourite and appears in many of our products, such as Swedish Oak (Svensk Ek) and Moment Oak (Moment Ek) 2008, to name just a couple.

Have you tasted Swedish Oak and how does the Swedish oak contribute to the whisky’s taste? Feel free to share your thoughts with us in the comments section.

/ Malin Åberg, Marketing, Mackmyra Whisky