Archive for the ‘Sweden’ Category

Just for Sweden

April 2, 2009

Our Swedish neighbours have a wee affinity for the Scottish tipple and often get special bottlings. Two very different distilleries are offering their wares purely to the Swedes this Spring.

The first one out is a very special Glengoyne expression – Glengoyne Swedish Oak Finish 16 Years (46.2% abv).

This is (I think) a dual cask bottling comprising of 660 bottles only available through the Swedish monopoly stores – Systembolaget. The price is to be 679 SEK (532 NOK/£58/€61) when it hits the stores in May. The plans for this edition started when Glengoyne in 2007 bought two casks made from Swedish oak from the Thorslundkagge Cooperage in Dyltabruk (Central Sweden, some 120 miles west of Stockholm).

The other is a limited edition whisky bottled at Cask Strength – Bowmore Laimrig (50,3%). Laimrig is gaelic for pier (or wharf, jetty, quay or landing according to Wiktionary). A total of 4.500 bottles have been made and are awaiting release, this also in May.The price for this one is 559 SEK (437 NOK/£47/€51). The whisky itself is 15 years old and has matured for 10 years in ex-bourbon casks before being transferred to ex-Oloroso casks for a period of 5 years.

Tasting notes: Dark amber colour, the nose brings a sweet aroma of Oloroso Sherry, figs and cocoa with a finely tuned smokiness and a hint of saltiness. On the palate it’s dark chocolate, sherry and dried fruits (rasins) with a lovely, long and lingering finish with smoky notes.

Fifty-Fifty-Fraud: Update

March 25, 2009

Last august I wrote about what I felt was fraudulent behavior from Thomas Cook Airlines – the sale of a vatted whisky made by Douglas Laing specially for Thomas Cook Airlines – The Fifty-Fity Malt Whisky, Laphroaig and Macallan (ie a vatted malt). This was mostly due to their own-made “Systembolaget prices”, which in all Scandinavian countries just happened to be 1000 kroner over TC’s price.

Had a bit of a doubt of the reality of this price and finally it’s been proven. As of April 1st this bottling will be made available in Sweden, through the state monopoly – Systembolaget. The price in Sweden, fully taxed, will be 649 SEK (£54.75/€59.35) – one whole Swedish krone less than Thomas Cook. But Thomas Cook still claims that the Systembolaget price is 1650 SEK – they’ve even got it written up as a “Special Offer”!

Still a bit steeply priced for a vatted malt though.

The Macallan wants you(r cash)

March 18, 2009

Sweden is a important market for whiskies in general and malts more specifically. Edrington, through their marketing division – Maxxium, arranged last year a very special trip for a few Swedes (and one or two Norwegians I think) – and doing it again this year. Last time it was to Orkney and Highland Park, while this time it’s off to Speyside and The Macallan Distillery.

But first a bit of a recap: The first trip was called “Return of the Vikings” and included a specially chartered flight from Stockholm to Orkney (with a whisky tasting en route), two nights accomodation, dinners, tours, lots of whisky and a “very speical” bottling of Highland Park called – “Return of the Vikings”. All that cost a mere €1200. Participants felt a bit cheated a few months later when the Highland Park Ambassador’s Cask #4 was released, as it was the same cask – though this cost a mere £225 (€284 with the rate at that time). This created a bit of noise which resultet in the participants receiving a further bottle (35cl) called “Return of the Vikings 2″ – this time with a expressed guarantee that the rest of the cast would not be bottled as a single cask bottling.

This brings us onto this year’s trip.

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Swedish whisky auction

October 4, 2008

Sweden, like Norway, has a state run monopoly on sales of alcoholic beverages. A couple of years ago they eased the rules a bit and let the monopoly, Systembolaget, arrange an auction where private individuals could sell rare items. All items had to go through a pre-screening where non-rare items got excluded from going on sale.

After several such auctions where wines and spirits have been sold, the time has now come to a pure whisky auction – with 253 lots up for grabs. On Tuesday 7th October at 3pm (CET) the auction starts in Stockholm, Sweden. Bidding can be done onlineor by phone if not able to attend – more info on how to bid, pay and take possession on won items go to Stockholms Auktionsverk’s webpage.

Click here for to view the items going on sale. Some steep estimates, but if the previous general alcoholic drink auctions are anything to go by, great deals can be made.

Sail away – with whisky

August 14, 2008

Alas this offer is not directed at us Norwegian, but our neighbouring Swedes. While the ferries travelling to and from Norway tend to offer theme-cruises like Afterski, Eurovision Song Contest, 90s, Swedish, Northern-Norwegian and the like, our Swedish friends (and anybody popping over) can enjoy whisky cruises.

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