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Review: Kyrö's Choice Single Cask Wood Smoke with Vin Santo Finish

Updated: Nov 30, 2022

Kyrö Distillery

Single Cask for Finnish Whisky Day 2022

Age: NAS

Abv: 53,2%

Place of purchase: Alko

Price: 65,98€

Whenever Kyrö releases a new whisky it's on my shopping list and this years release for the Finnish Whisky Day wasn't an exception. Kyrö's Choice bottling series bottles are always small batch special releases where they can play with the rye. This particular whisky is distilled from alder smoked rye malt in 2018 and it spent the first year in New American Oak barrel and was transferred to Vin Santo barrel after that until it was bottled in 2022. Let's see what we got here...

Nose: This was sitting in my glass over an hour as I was watching the Liverpool game. I did nose it from time to time, but didn't taste it. In the very beginning the scent was super strong and it almost jumped from the glass to my nose. After a while the most aggressive part fades away and sweetness start to take over. They're layered in the nose so that the sweetness from the rye is on top and like a thing string in the middle there's this kerosene like smoke. On the bottom there's a nectarine like sweetness. The nose is really complex and versatile and it's really hard to get hold of the core essence of the whisky.

Taste: Smoke, rye and tart. I can't really get hold of any specific one flavour, it's more like a powerful mess where the flavours go around the mouth switching places and trying to fight for their own space. And the fight is strong and equal, really restless whisky. With every sip it feels like a new whisky. The same basic flavours are there, but in different order.

Aftertaste: Sweet and smoky is the first thought with the after taste and it lasts long. The influence of oak starts to rice after that. It lingers in the back of the tongue and doing these little comebacks (Parks and Rec blooper reels) that boosts the taste once again. Sweet and smoke is the words of the day, again and again.

This is not an easy whisky. The nose is already powerful and complex and the same story continues with the taste. There's some heavy fireworks going on (in a good way) in both of them. The after taste is the first place where this whisky is showing some consistency, although the consistent part of this whisky, is the mess it is. While writing this I actually found a peaceful and nice moment for a second. In this moment of serenity the mellow rye meets with soft sweetness and a moment later it's like the Biker Mice from Mars are driving back in to the taste buds as the kerosene smoke bomb is back. This whisky really works for me with all its weirdness, but I can see why this wouldn't work at all for someone.

If you enjoy calm and balanced whiskies, that may offer a challenge, but do it with dignity and elegance, this isn't your whisky. On the other hand, if you like to receive a not so gentle slap spiritual slap and the feeling that the whisky just brutally ran over your taste buds, this might just be your whisky.

Wonderfully weird and forever changing rye whisky from Kyrö.


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