Alderwood has also been experimented with for smoking malt.
We have traveled to the Northern Hemisphere, more specifically to Finland. Here, Kyrรถ Distillery has used alder wood to smoke their malt. The Alder tree is a bit more common in Finland and the Northern Hemisphere.

Kyrรถ Distillery makes delicious rye whisky, and for this smoky variation they have smoked the rye malt with alderwood smoke.

A rye whisky made from a 100% rye mash. It has been aged in ex-bourbon casks, French oak casks, and new American oak casks. Bottled at 47.2% abv.

The rye malt was dried and smoked in the old-fashioned way in a “riihi”, a traditional Finnish smokehouse. This tradition goes back over 100 years.

A “riihi” is a traditional Finnish smokehouse, primarily used for drying grain, especially barley and rye. They are typically made of wood and have a chimney in the middle that vents the smoke. Riihi’s often have a platform or loft where the grain can be spread out to dry evenly.

In Finland, riihi’s have played an important role in agriculture for centuries. They were crucial to preserving the harvest and preventing the grain from rotting. Riihi’s were also social gathering places where people met to work, party, and tell stories. So a great starting point for a drink that brings people together.

The rye gives a lot of delicious spicy notes of cedar, rye bread, dark caramel and the alderwood smoke gives a mild sweet touch of berries and dried moss, which works quite well and adds some fruitiness to the whisky while also helping to balance the bitterness of the rye.

Kyrรถ Malt Rye Whisky is lightly smoked, so you don’t get a smoky kick, but more of a gentle sensation. The rye is the most dominant, both on the nose and on the palate. It would be interesting to taste a more heavily smoked version, still with alderwood of course, as I think it suits the rye very well.

We don’t get an age on the whisky and a guess is that it is naturally over 3 years old but probably hasn’t reached 4 years. This edition is from 2021 and is a Pre-Release Limited Edition. I don’t know if there will be more like this, but it tastes good.

๐Ÿ…ผ๐Ÿ†ˆ ๐Ÿ†ƒ๐Ÿ…ฐ๐Ÿ†‚๐Ÿ†ƒ๐Ÿ…ธ๐Ÿ…ฝ๐Ÿ…ถ ๐Ÿ…ฝ๐Ÿ…พ๐Ÿ†ƒ๐Ÿ…ด๐Ÿ†‚

Aromatic spicy, cedar, rye bread, raw bacon, a little hay, blueberries, dried moss, vanilla
Full-bodied and dry at the same time, oily on the lips, hay, black pepper, dark caramel, berry sweetness, pear, a little citrus, a little leather, cedar (it seems strange to write about cedar when it is a completely different type of wood, but it is the most well-known flavor I can probably relate it to)
Medium-long fresh wood taste with light herbs like dried marjoram/basil ending with slightly weak raisins and eucalyptus.

๐Ÿ…พ๐Ÿ†…๐Ÿ…ด๐Ÿ† ๐Ÿ…ฐ๐Ÿ…ป๐Ÿ…ป
Exciting with a different smoke flavor and I think it suits the rye very well. Whether they should make more of this alderwood smoked rye whisky at Kyrรถ – Yes, please! ๐Ÿ™‚

By Whisky Adventurer

Behind the name Whisky Adventurer is Lars Modvig Hesselberg. In short, I enjoy immersing myself in all aspects of the whisky world. I enjoy the stories, the people, the scents, the development, the taste, the variety, the big ones, the small ones, the distilleries and much more. Telling and passing on knowledge and experiences through speech, writing and pictures is a big part of the whole experience for me.