Anyone who knows me, has been to a tasting with me or even read my blog knows that I am a huge fan of sherry matured whiskies. So when I was lucky enough to barter a sample from a Norwegian private cask, I had to jump on it.

This particular private cask is almost 4.5 years old. It matured in an ex-sherry 40-litre cask and later finished in an ex-Dark Horizon 30 litre cask for nine months. 

My sample has a beautiful deep amber colour, and its legs are enticing and long.

The nose is very pronounced. It has a subtle floral note, peat, honey, dunnage, dusty wood, old books, wood polish, espresso coffee, the typical red fruits like cherries and plums, raisins, cereal and possibly some almonds as well.

I tend to dislike honey notes and even honey itself, but I think the honey notes are part of what makes this whisky this good. The peat was quite pronounced initially on the nose, but it quickly mellowed out, and it suits this whiskey so well.

The sherry influence is delicious! The whisky is warming, well-rounded, balanced and mind-boggling. I am getting notes like caramelised sugar, some oaky bitterness, a dusty note, slightly ashy peat, leather and tobacco, prunes, and vanilla custard.

To me, the finish is medium-long and deliciously mouth-coating. The dominating notes are honey and dark, dried fruit notes, like plums and prunes, espresso coffee, that ashy peat I already mentioned, with a touch of wood to round it off (tannins).

Private Cask
ex-sherry and ex-Dark Horizon
ABV: 47 %
Country: Norway

So what is Dark Horizon exactly? Dark Horizon is a Russian Imperial-style beer brewed by the Norwegian brewery Nøgne Ø in Grimstad, and it is, to my understanding, also available as a homebrewing kit. As I am writing this, Dark Horizon 7 (both barrel-aged and non-barrel aged) is available at Vinmonopolet. It has descriptors like coffee, leather, liquorice, dried fruit on the nose and palate, and is brewed with water, malt, muscovado and demerara sugars, hops, coffee, and yeast.

Unfortunately, my sample barely lasted long enough for me to finish this review. This private cask is phenomenal, and I would have loved to own a bottle. Well done, Tore!

Myken Distillery started its production in 2014 on a small island called Myken on the coast of Northern Norway, where they produce, mature and bottle their single malt. Myken is the world’s first arctic whiskey distillery and Norway’s largest whiskey producer.

Thank you so much, Tore, for letting me try a sample of your private cask.
Tasting notes and opinions about this release are strictly my own.