Björksav is a floral and fruity whisky with a light spiciness, vanilla fudge, cedar and toasted bread, with clear notes of birch sap wine. Björksav evokes that feeling of spring.
In my opinion, a mature and smoky whisky such as this, with final maturing in cherry wine casks, is a real ‘end-of-the-year’ whisky. It is the perfect accompaniment to a Roquefort cheese or a soft, mature Brie at the end of a nice dinner with family and friends in the autumn darkness. It has a nicely distinct smoky character that doesn’t dominate the other finely-tuned flavours in the whisky too much.
Jaktlycka is a warm and soft whisky filled with treasures from the forests. The notes of berries, together with the wonderful spicy contribution from Swedish oak, generate a fantastic flavour that embodies the Swedish forest and autumn. The result is a creamy and berrylike whisky with a softly embedded spiciness and notes of dried fruit, vanilla and raisins. It will make a classic companion to milk chocolate desserts.
Innovation has always been a key word for us at Mackmyra. Therefore, it is no coincidence that it was we who created the world's first AI whisky. Now that an incredibly competent jury has awarded it a Gold medal and the Best of Category is great proof that what we are doing is absolutely right.
When we started the project, our goal was to push the boundaries of what's possible with technology but at the same time create something that competes with the world's best products without any gimmicks. That Intelligens has won Gold in a prestigious competition feels great. This really proves that machines can be used to augment experts in very diverse ways and I'm optimistic about what the future holds.
An important milestone was passed in 2019, when for the first time the sales of Mackmyra in Europe were larger than to Systembolaget in Sweden. The potential is very high, with the combined size of just the three most prioritised markets of Germany, the UK and France being about 40 times larger than the market in Sweden. New leadership is now needed, as Mackmyra moves onto a new stage, with larger export sales. In Johan, the Mackmyra board has found a senior executive with documented skills and experience of leading entrepreneurial companies through international growth phases. Thanks to the combination of Johan’s managerial skills and the creativity of Magnus, we in the board are looking forward to a promising future.
Throughout my entire career I have always worked with growing strong consumer brands by means of international expansion. This is one of the reasons why I have been following Mackmyra with fascination for many years, both as a shareholder and as a cask owner. What Magnus and the team have accomplished is truly impressive. It is with great excitement and inspiration that I now take over the relay baton as the new CEO, with the task of taking the foremost craft spirit company in Sweden through the next growth phase.
It is with pride and confidence that, after more than two decades, I hand over the helm to a strong leader like Johan. With his strengths and skills, Mackmyra will be able to develop further and reach its full potential. I am also pleased to now be able to focus on Mackmyra’s business development, especially in light of the major changes that the global alcohol industry is undergoing, both in terms of consumer behaviour and internet based disruption.
Es war ein wahres Vergnügen, an die Grenzen zu gehen, als ich den Saison-Whisky dieses Frühjahres kreierte. Es hat mich sehr beglückt, dass ich meinen Lieblingsgeschmack, also grünen Tee aus Japan, mit meiner großen Passion, dem Whisky, zusammenbringen konnte. So etwas hat es zuvor noch nicht gegeben. Ich bin sehr stolz auf das Ergebnis unserer gemeinsamen Arbeit! Wir werden auch zukünftig mit Begeisterung neue spannende Geschmackserfahrungen erschaffen.
Das Herstellen japanischen Tees ähnelt der Produktion von Whisky in vielen Aspekten, denn es bestehen dieselben Ansprüche an Qualität, Geschmack und das Erleben von Aromen. Wir wissen selbstverständlich, wie sorgfältig unser Produkt behandelt wird, und haben unseren japanischen Tee deswegen Angela D’Orazio mit Freude überlassen. Die gemeinsame Arbeit bei diesem Projekt macht wirklich Spaß; sie ist außerdem sehr lehrreich. Ich bin begeistert davon, dass der Geschmack von japanischem Tee auf eine solch experimentelle Weise zum Einsatz kommt. Mackmyra ‚Grönt Te‘ arbeitet den Charakter und die Aromen des Tees heraus und verleiht dem Whisky eine ganz besondere Würze – man spürt Schweden und Japan gleichermaßen.
It’s been a real pleasure to be able to put the limits of whisky to the test and create this spring’s seasonal whisky. I’m very moved that I was given the opportunity to think free from old whisky traditions and combine my favorite flavour, green tea from Japan, with my great passion, whisky, even though something similar has never been done before. I’m incredibly proud of what we’ve achieved together, and I look forward with confidence to creating new exciting taste sensations.
Producing Japanese tea is in many ways similar to the production of whisky as they both share the same values in quality, taste and aroma experiences. We are very conscious that our product is handled with care, and we felt very comfortable handing our Japanese tea over to Angela. Working on this project with Angela has been fun and extremely educational and I am very excited that Japanese tea can be used as a flavour in such an experimental way. Mackmyra Grönt Te raises the character and flavours of the tea giving the whisky a unique aroma and taste inspired by Sweden and Japan.
Eric Bräck, head of Mackmyra’s cask koncept
It’s very exciting that our whisky created using AI is now finally available for purchase. There is huge interest in it, and it will be interesting to hear what both whisky drinkers and technology fans think about the taste
Algorithms don’t have minds, so we need a new approach in order to understand something as complicated as whisky. Even though they lack human expertise, we can teach machines to understand which elements make up past recipes and products, and how these are perceived and ranked by customers and experts
We produce our whisky today with the same spirit of discovery and experimental zeal we had when we started, although we now operate one of the world’s most modern distilleries – the Gravity Distillery which is 35 metres high - we use Swedish ingredients and do things our way. When running a company in the 21st century it’s vital to minimise your impact on the environment. We constantly strive to make Mackmyra whisky even more eco-friendly.
We may have started the history of Swedish whisky, but there now around 77 distilleries nationwide, with many of them taking on the daunting challenge of producing single malt. Our vision to be at the cutting edge and produce world-class, innovative eco-friendly malt whisky is the same as it was 20 years ago. Working alongside our fantastic employees, customers, shareholders, partners and suppliers, we’ve achieved success. We’re now taking the next step, and looking forward to the forthcoming 20 years.
This AI-generation can have an impact in different industries globally. I envision AI systems generating recipes for sweets, perfumes, beverages, and maybe even sneaker designs. Many of these have already been attempted, but large-scale adoption is still lagging behind. We are showing the way forward, and these new AI solutions can be used to generate products that retain the spirit, look and feel of the brands behind them, while at the same time being new and unique.
Algorithms don't have senses so we need another take on how to understand something so complex as whisky. Although lacking human expertise, we can teach machines to understand what elements previous recipes and products are made of and how they are perceived and ranked by customers and experts. With this as a raw data asset, we can leverage a combination of explorative algorithms to generate endless new recipes and products and then use a set of discriminative algorithms to understand which of them might be great, repeating until better recipes are not found. This requires a lot from the computation side, as we need millions of iterations while keeping track of what worked and what did not before reaching a solid guess of a good new whisky.
We always strive to challenge the traditions in the very traditional whisky trade and that’s something we really do now when we develop a whisky with the help of AI. We see AI as a part of our digital development, it is really exciting to let AI be a complement to the craft of producing a high-quality whisky. For me as a Master Blender it is a great achievement to be able to say that I'm now also a mentor for the first ever created AI whisky in the world.
Magnus Dandanell, Managing Director Mackmyra
Angela D’Orazio, Master Blender at Mackmyra
Calvados is a delicate and fruity spirit. When discovering appleblom, I was very impressed by the delicate marriage between the pear and citrus notes of the whisky with the apple and oxydative flavors given by our casks. The result is a very expressive and elegant whisky which will be just perfect at spring time. Since we have a very long aging for our calvados we hardly get the oppertunity to use them for a second fill, therefore I was happy to see the result of this innovative aging using one of the very few casks we ship from our cellar.
The choice of calvados producer was easy. Christian Drouin creates absolutely fantastic calvados in all respects, with genuine craftsmanship in every product since 1965, he has challenged French traditions in this area, and is therefore the perfect match for Mackmyra’s approach and our enjoyment of experimenting. The light apple tones from our whisky, in combination with the more mature apple flavours from the calvados, give Äppelblom a generous cask character with a fine spicy balance.
It’s going to be fascinating to follow progress in the UK now that we’ve finally been able to launch sales here. We’re seeing considerable demand among UK consumers, but frustratingly it’s been difficult to offer Mackmyra’s entire product range via British importers without it being far too expensive and complicated for the consumer. That’s now changing.