Montsh ago the nice folks at Spirit of Hven Distillery sent me this sample but, I’m sorry to say, it got lost in the box. It’s only the last couple of weeks that I’m really ramping through my samples with more written tasting notes than there are blog posts.
Phecda, the third Hven whisky in the Seven Stars series, is a bit older than the previous two (Dubhe and Merak) and matured in French and American oak. It’s also an organic whisky that’s been bottles without any caramel and hasn’t been chill filtered either.
They guys at Hven are going at it the right way, and I think it’s clever to play the Organic card, since there are quite some folks out there who care about that. Anyway, it’s released without an age statement but we know it’s at least three years old. We also know that it’s older than the previous two releases, so my guess would be somewhere around the five years old range.
Quite spirity and young, but not in a bad way. It’s quite heavy and rich with lots of character. Old barley, malt and overripe fruit. Pear peels, banana and some oak. Slightly spicy and leather.
The palate is tingling with a vegetable note (a sulphur note, I’d say). Heavy with pepper, alcohol, oak and barley. There’s malt and banana, pear. Quite sweet, with soft fruits and a buttery feel.
The finish is a tad spirity again. That vegetable note is back again too. Heavy and young but in a certain way also quite old fashioned. Some spices, fruits and barley.
The folks at Hven surely know what they’re doing. They’re creating a whisky that is fully their own style, and by the taste of it they’re doing it in a very old fashioned way. Not necessarily the flavors, but the ‘sense’ of the whisky reminds me of Benromach.
I’ve professed to like whiskies in which you can taste the spirit and not just the oak it rested in. This one fits that bill perfectly. There’s still a ways to go to mellow out the small sulphuric notes, but I’m already liking this whisky, and I expect it’s only going to get more impressive.
Now, I have to say something about the biggest drawback of this whisky. It’s price tag. Unfortunately the booze comes from Sweden, and as we’ve seen with Mackmyra’s special editions in the past, they’re expensive. This one, unfortunateley, is no exception and it’ll set you back € 140 for a 50cl bottle. According to Whiskybase the price is some € 85, but I don’t know where that’d be.
Fun fact: That’s the same money I paid for the Pe1 from the Elements of Islay range. How times have changed.
But, from a craft whisky perspective, which operates in a higher price bracket as big established distilleries, I don’t think this is a bad choice. The whisky’s pretty good, after all!
Spirit of Hven, Seven Stars #3, Phecda, 45%. Available at Master of Malt
I got this sample for free from the distillery. Thanks guys!