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.