Tag Archives: Hven

Hven, Seven Stars No. 3 Phecda, Single Malt, 45%

My stand out whisky at the recent Whisky Birmingham show – held annually in March – was none other than this gorgeously rich, dark & heavy malt.

Hailing from a picturesque Swedish island nestled in the Oresund Straits just north of Malmo & Copenhagen.

The island is called Hven.

The distillery is called Hven.

And the way to pronounce Hven is demonstrated by this piece of Eurotrash pop with it’s instantly sing-along-can’t-get-the-words-out-of-my-head-catchy-tune-vibe going on as in The Macarena or Agadoo – complete with obligatory kitsch dance moves.

I give you Karen Paolo – Ven Ven Ven.

Ven in Spanish – which is the official language in Chile where the singer is based – happens to mean ‘come’.

Well I first came across The Spirit Of Hven on the Amathus stall at the very enjoyable Birmingham show. Amathus being the importer & distributor of Hven – and other fine malts – in the UK.

There were 2 expressions to sample from the Hven Distillery range of organic barley made single malts produced with no carbon filtration, no chill filtration and no added colouring.

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Tycho’s Star c/othewhiskeynut

Tycho’s Star – named after the famous astrologer Tycho Brahe whose scientific work was conducted on Hven in the late 1500’s – was an instantly attractive softly peated single malt. Soft & smooth with subtle flavours and a well balanced feel.

It’s star mate – as the No. 3 Phecda release also follows in the astral theme being named after one of the seven stars that make up The Plough constellation which is prominent in the Northern sky at night – is much more my style of whisky.

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Phecda No 3 c/othewhiskeynut

Big, bad & bold.

There was a noticeable waft of smoke on the nose – the official tasting notes suggest BBQ.

The taste exploded on the tongue – young, strong , fresh & meaty.

A bit like a bold teenager full of vigour & vitality. Bursting with self confidence & self belief. Unashamed by their youthful exuberance and unabashed by their posturing & strutting.

Awsome!

To use a term that’s crept over the Atlantic and is now in common use by my grandkids.

‘Come to Hven’ is what this whisky is saying.

Sounds good to me!

Sláinte.

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Whisky Birmingham

My quest to sample as wide a variety of whiskies from as many different countries as possible took me to Whisky Birmingham.

Now in it’s 5th year – the show is organised by The Birmingham Whisky Club – and despite only being a short 45 minute flight from Dublin, there is a different array of whisky brands,styles & ranges on offer on the UK market in contrast to Ireland – which made the journey worthwhile for me.

I wasn’t disappointed!

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The Amathus stall @WhiskyBrum c/othewhiskeynut

From the first stall to the last – there were simply so many new expressions for me to sample – I just couldn’t get round them all.

There were a couple of stalls from importers & distributors  who had very fine arrays of not-your-usual-whiskies which I thoroughly enjoyed.

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Taiwan whisky? c/othewhiskeynut

Another stall that impressed me was that by the LivingRoom Whisky bloggers.

That’s right – bloggers doing a whisky stall!

Jon & Mike put together a display of some of their favourite whiskies for sampling & sharing along with other fellow enthusiasts. Fantastic.

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Spey Whisky @WhiskyBrum c/othewhiskeynut

Several Scottish blenders & bottlers had wonderful displays. A sprinkling of American brands graced the floor together with some familiar Irish faces too!

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TullamoreDewKev @WhiskyBrum c/othewhiskeynut

Held in the wonderfully historic setting of The Bond in Digbeth on the Grand Union Canal & only a short walk from the transport hub of Birmingham’s Bullring. It’s a marvelous venue for such a friendly and relaxed show.

A very welcome feature was the VIP Lounge staffed by the helpful & informative Andy. It was like a little oasis of calm to sit down & relax, chat or take in the aromas & flavours of a choice selection of whiskies.

There comes a point in the proceedings however when you know you are getting close to the edge!

Thankfully there were water coolers dotted around the venue to keep you hydrated – and a couple of street food vendors in the outside area where I enjoyed a tasty pizza.

Masterclasses are another way to slow down the pace as well as gaining some whisky knowledge from experts in the field. If I’d done my homework better the Cheese & Whisky Pairing class would have been my choice. As it was I contented myself with a selection box of satisfyingly rich tasting cheese & crackers from the stall to twin my whiskies with.

Talking of favourites.

I always like to to come away with my dram of the day!

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Hven Seven Stars c/othewhiskeynut

Hven Seven Stars No. 3 Phecda shone for me.

Rich, chewy, meaty & smoky.

Perhaps not to everyone’s tastes – but then that’s what whisky shows are all about.

The ability to strike up conversation with fellow whisky enthusiasts you’ve never met before.

The camaraderie, the conviviality & the cráic.

That’s what I love.

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Sláinte Whisky Birmingham c/othewhiskeynut

A toast to Whisky Birmingham.

You made one whiskey nut very happy.

Sláinte.

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