Something you don’t see every day: an Icelandic whisky. Something you see even less: Icelandic whisky matured in birchwood.
There is simply no other way to describe this malt than unique. It is made in the only Icelandic distillery, Eimverk, and made using Birchwood.
The distillery was first opened in 2009 and is family owned and run. They have experimented for years with different ways to distil and multiple recipes. It took them 163 experiments with recipe, distillation and ageing to nail down the perfect recipe and process to make Floki, but it was well worth the effort.
Every ingredient they use is locally sourced from only three farms, taking hyper-local to a whole other level. They know everything about their malt and the quality shows. As well as whisky, they also make incredible gin and young malt (essentially whisky, but not matured long enough to call it that).
Floki Birchwood Single Malt Icelandic Whisky
This release is especially intriguing as they use Icelandic Birchwood to mature the malt. Aside from Mackmyra in Sweden who use casks that have held Birch-sap wine, we don’t think there’s ever been a Birch matured whisky before. If you know of one, please let us know in the comments!
There could be a reason for this, and it is also the reason that this version of Floki whisky is so young. At only three years old, this whisky just meets the age requirements for classifying it as whisky. That’s because Birch is too porous to age it for any longer. Oak is typically used to mature whisky because it isn’t very porous, whereas Birch is the opposite.
We’re glad Eimverk took the risk though because this malt is great.
It opens with a nose of sweet and tangy notes. You can really taste the birch, which is zesty and spicy. There is a slightly vinegary tang from it, but a subtle one that melts into the sweet flavours of the malt.
There are lots of floral notes on the palate, recalling apple blossom, heather and moss. Honey and thick caramel give it a nice smooth edge and add a wonderful sugary sweetness overall. Cinnamon and nutmeg bring in a little spice and heat.
The finish rests on birch wood and hints of caramel. There is a slightly earth note as well.
This is a wonderful malt that you will not have tried the likes of before. Here’s to more innovation from Eimvery Distillery!
What do you think of Floki Birchwood? Let us know in the comments.