By Richard Thomas
Danish distillery Fary Lochan releases its whiskies in small, three-digit batches named for the seasons, hence “Forar” or Spring Batch 1. “Vinter” is a more obvious translation into English, and the Winter Batch 1 was a 663-bottle run of 54% abv Danish whisky.
I think perhaps the reason they named this winter has less to do with the seasons than with the degree to which the malt was smoked. Compared to Forar, Vinter has double the smoke content measured in parts per million (ppm), 15 to 7.
Yet despite that, it’s a light whisky in the glass. The coloring is a light gold, and the nose isn’t smoky at all. What it is is a balanced scent mixing malt and grass with honey and spices
The smoke appears first in the palate, and gathers as the experience progresses. Smoke is the foundation upon which notes of sweet and spice sit, but so does a twinge of astringency that sits there like a chirping macaque in an Asian marketplace. An ashy aftertaste starts a finish that is as hot as it is warm, with the astringency and high alcohol content combining to make the liquid a little harsh going down.
My experience here is that this whisky shows the elements of a good foundation, but is too young and perhaps bottled at too high a proof (abv). Winter, it seems, is not nearly as pleasant as Spring.
Fary Lochan Winter Batch 1 is listed at 1,000 Danish Krone ($150).