Nose: Oak, vanilla, allspice, dry sultanas, honey, burnt toffee, and some supporting citrus and leafy notes.
Taste: Sweet and thick honey, vanilla, caramel, allspice.
It’s not a hard and fast rule; however, there does seem to be a link with whisky and music. It seems every blues artist and southern rock band has to have at least two whisky songs in their repertoire. (While many other rock bands have a whisky song, it’s more of a guideline than a requirement.) And then, famously and infamously, there is the partaking of. Motörhead’s Lemmy Kilmister being an espouser of the latter.
Mr. Kilmister certainly enjoyed a few bottles of Jack Daniel’s in his time so it may seem odd at first glance to see Mackmyra create a single malt to honour the bands 40-year loudgacy. However:
- Sweden loves its hard rock slash heavy metal, and
- A quick looksee on the label and you’ll read that the single malt was aged in böurbon casks. That’s right: bourbon with an umlaut. And, part of the whisky was finished in oloroso casks before rejoining the whisky. Lemmy, by the way, had a hand in picking the casks.
At 40% abv, this is not a loud whisky. You certainly won’t offend the neighbours pouring this one outside. There is oak, but it’s not in spades. The notes are nicely interspersed from the lead vanilla, honey and toffee notes being nicely supported by the allspice, leafy and citrusy background vocals. As for the tasting, I was expecting a gravelly replication of Lemmy’s vocals but was surprised how smooth and sweet, with just a hint of spicy heat for a teeny throaty tickle . Perhaps Mr. Kilmister was a sweet smoothie in private, hence the non-loudnicity of this single malt. It’s flavourful with no brashness or in your face attitude – akin to listening to Motörhead with ear plugs jammed in. You get the gist without all those decibels. The finish has Motörhead-like blast; however, to me it has a bit of a Ramones-like finish – quick and to the point.
Motörhead’s musical brand certainly was on point. They were dubbed the loudest band in the world. One concert they played at; they had the volume cranked way past 11 to 130 decibels. Monsieur Kilmister also developed Motörhead’s manifesto: to be the world’s dirtiest band claiming: “If you moved in next door, your lawn would die.” In the bottle, however, Motörhead Whisky is the exact opposite: it’s approachable, quiet with some unexpected yet welcome layers.
Had Mackmyra called this, oh I don’t know, something like “Ovation”, I’d still like this single malt. But seeing as it’s called Motörhead, I seem to be enjoying it a little bit more because of the delicious dichotomy between the band and the whisky. In this case, I think the catch was just as good as the chase.
Note – no leathers or studs were worn in the enjoyment of this whisky.