Whisky Review: Spirit of Hven Tycho's Star Single Malt Whisky - The Whiskey Wash

Whisky Review: Spirit of Hven Tycho’s Star Single Malt Whisky

Editor’s Note: This whisky was provided to us as a review sample by Spirit of Hven. This in no way, per our editorial policies, influenced the final outcome of this review.

Swedish distillery, Spirit of Hven Backafallsbyn, is one of a few rising stars in the emerging market for Scandinavian whisky. The production site sits peacefully in the Swedish countryside, located on a large property with a four star hotel and conference facility. The grounds are picturesque, complete with award-winning restaurants and gorgeous views of Swedish farmland. Spirit of Hven’s unique distillery is run by Henrik Molin, a science-minded distillation expert who turned his passion from wine-making to whisky. He built one of Sweden’s largest whisky collections with over 500 bottles available in the hotel bar.

Spirit of Hven is said to be one of the world’s smallest commercial copper pot distilleries. Their approach is very precise. Molin takes great care to make sure the scent and flavor profile of each of the 18 spirits they produce are perfect; he pays attention to every small, seemingly insignificant detail including the “microclimate” where the barrels are stored, humidity levels, how the casks were made and where, and doesn’t leave any detail up to chance. They are very passionate about the science behind the whisky they produce, and education seems to be the goal, imparting knowledge about the entire fermentation process and the intent behind each ingredient, every step of the way.

Tycho’s Star Single Malt Whisky is named after Tycho’s Supernova which first appeared in 1572. Tycho’s Supernova is named after astronomer Tycho Brahe, an early astronomer who observed and recorded the supernova, and who actually lived on the Island of Hven for a short time. The supernova is one of very few in the Milky Way; made up of remnants of an exploded star, so bright it could be seen during the day. Over the next two years the star’s light faded until it could no longer been seen with the naked eye. It “vanished” until the 1950s when technology advanced enough to be able to view it once again.

Three types of barley make up the mash bill of this single malt: pale ale malt, chocolate malt and heavily peated whisky malts. The distiller knows exactly what is going into his whisky and how much. In their own words, “The carefully distilled spirit has matured on casks made of air dried oak. The casks are 58.20% heavy char Quercus Muehlenbergii from Missouri, 33.44% heavy toast Quercus Petraea from Allier and 8.36% medium toast Q. Robur from Bourgogne.”

Spirit of Hven Tycho's Star

Spirit of Hven Tycho’s Star (image via Spirit of Hven)

Tasting Notes: Spirit of Hven Tycho’s Star Single Malt Whisky

Vital Stats: Tycho’s Star ABV is 41.8. It’s certified organic and never sees any chill or carbon filtering. Typical bottle price is somewhere north of $100 USD.

Appearance: Legs form delicate petals on the glass. It’s not sticky, with a thin viscosity. Color is light and golden, yellow like sunflowers.

Nose: Bright notes of lemon peel and new, Spring grass, are contrasted with full-bodied notes of caramel, butterscotch, leather and wood. They work together to form a complete picture of a cloudless day on a farm straight out of a storybook.

Palate: Light and sweet on the front with notes of fresh cut grass, citrus. The middle is chocolatey and rich, with decadent flavors like licorice, caramel, and banana cream pie. The sweetness is followed closely by smooth peat and grass, with a bold leathery, metallic finish. The mouthfeel is oily at first and dries out at the end.

Summary

Each flavor leads easily into the next. The carefully selected malts used in the mash each bring different nuanced flavor, each complementing the others to provide total balance. The peat lends a smooth smokiness to the backbone of the spirit. I added a little bit of water to open it up and extend the flavors a bit.

This is the kind of spirit that should be enjoyed neat, or as close to pure as possible. The intent of every step of the process can be tasted in each sip and it's quite delicious.

4.5
User Rating 5 (1 vote)
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