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Finland, Finland, Finland, The country where I want to be..

Hello there, I am back again. And this blog post will be about one of the newer Finnish distilleries, Kyrö Distillery. As I live in Finland I think now is high time to also look what we produce on the domestic market and I know that Kyrö products can also be found in Europe at least in Germany and Sweden.

So, Kyrö Distilling Company, who are they? Well, it is a distillery founded in 2012 by five friends that liked rye whisky and they came up with the idea while sitting in the sauna (where else) and the distillery is located in the western part of Finland, in an old dairy factory in the municipality of Isokyrö. And they make 100% malt rye whisky, which is cool. And also rye gin. Which is also cool. And the gin took the world by storm while everyone was waiting for the whisky to mature.

So what makes this now so special? The thing is that they use malted rye and not unmalted rye as in most American rye whiskies. And they also use 100% rye compared to 51-75% rye that is used in the US. So quite a different whisky in both smell and taste. Also, in their smoky version the malted rye has been infused with alder smoke which again is quite different.

So, as the distillery was founded in 2012 when did the first products come out on the market? They did release some unmatured spirit in 2014, a half-aged one in 2015 and their first very limited release in 2017. The first standard release hit the shelves in 2020 and in 2021 there was an alder smoke malted rye whisky as a pre-release for a general release in 2022. I hope I got most of this even remotely correct but please visit their web page for more detailed information.

But I guess it is time to actually taste the whiskies…

BIG WARNING NOTE: This type of whisky is very challenging and definitely not for everyone. Therefore I will give it two scores when I taste it, one for someone that likes challenging whiskies and rye, and the other score for those that are new to the whisky world and/or like more conventional whiskies.

Kyrö Malt Rye Whisky 47,2% batch 071021

Nose: rye bread, sweetness, vanilla, cinnamon, spicy, orange

Taste: rye bread, spices, white pepper, cinnamon, light toffee, vanilla, licorice

Finish: strong sweet rye taste that stays forever

Score (advanced) 83/100, Score(newbie) 72/100

Verdict: This is most definitely not everyone´s cup of..rye(?) This is a very challenging whisky and for someone who is starting his whisky journey it might be very harsh and strange. For someone that likes a challenge then this is the whisky for you. Bold rye tones like liquid dark rye bread and a very distinct and slightly sweet rye taste with lots of things going on. On the bottle it states that it is mostly matured in American white oak casks so that will give it very much oompfh. Quite difficult to categorize this one but I guess that is normal with Finns.  

Kyrö Smoke Wood Malted Rye Whisky 47,2%

Nose: light smoke notes, rye bread, toffee, cinnamon, light menthol, vanilla

Taste: eucalyptus, smoked rye bread, creamy toffee, spices, honey

Finish: creamy toffee and rye bread

Score (advanced) 85/100 (newbie) 76/100

Verdict: The smoke wood version is a bit more civilized and not the punch in the face rye aggressiveness as in the one without smoke. This has been matured in bourbon barrels, French oak casks and American white oak casks. The combination seems to work a bit better than in the counterpart. And this has a distinct creamy toffee taste that hits the right spot for me.

So, this was one of Finland´s few distilleries and one of two that makes rye whisky in Finland. And I sure hope the Kyrö peeps won´t give me a spanking for this review. I will continue to look thru the Finnish distilleries in the future with Teerenpeli, Helsinki Distilling Co and Valamo coming up…

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