Island life: Angela D’Orazio

Island life: Angela D’Orazio

In each edition we castaway one of the whisky world's great and good to see which whiskies and luxury they take with them

Caskaway | 14 Aug 2020 | Issue 169 | By Rob Allanson

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Angela D’Orazio is the master blender of Swedish whisky Mackmyra, the first Swedish whisky distillery which was established in 1999. She also holds the wonderful title of 'Chief Nose Officer’ for the distillery.

She's worked in the whisky industry for more than two decades, having started with Glenmorangie before running a whisky bar in Stockholm, and later starting the Swedish branch of the Scotch Malt Whisky Society. She received the Whisky Magazine Hall of Fame award in 2019.

Whisky #1
Grönt Te (Green Tea)
This started off as an idea when I was in Japan. I’ve been to Japan once and I fell in love with the food, the people, the nature; everything about the place. One of the things I tasted was some fabulous green tea, a completely different ball game to the stuff I was drinking at home. So I had four different Japanese teas I got from a tea merchant. I then macerated the leaves for a bit and seasoned four quarter casks with each of the resulting different teas. I filled them with our whisky and left them for 19 months in the tea casks and then I blended the different casks together. I’m really pleased with how it came out. It doesn't give much tea tannins but it has a lot of green aromas that are fantastic, and toasted tea aromas as well.

Whisky #2
Moment 22
It’s an interesting story. It means Catch-22 in Swedish, and some of the very first casks that we did at Mackmyra. We did the series, the Preludium, they were very young and we were absolutely frank about that, but we got a lot of critics for that very young whisky as I think people back then didn’t understand it. We did a lot of it, and I would say half of what we produced remained in a warehouse, as the Swedish monopoly stores didn’t buy more than half of the stuff. So we took it back, and we put it into Swedish Oak small casks and it stayed there for about three years. The bottling is a mix of the Preludiums and it’s somewhere between six and eight years old.

Whisky #3
Roaming Man
Tennessee Rye

It’s a straight rye whiskey that I tasted when I was over in America several months ago judging at an American craft distillers competition. I had never heard of it before but it was fascinating.
Every time I’ve been to the US I always try to update myself on rye whiskey and I really like it, I really enjoy the roughness of a good rye. I remember the first one I think I drank was a Pappy Van Winkle 13 Years Old that I bought something like 15 or 20 years ago. I think that today that bottle is worth a ridiculous amount of money.

Whisky #4
Teeling Whiskey
Something from a Bourbon cask please

It has to be Irish, natural strength and Teeling. I don’t recall the name of it, and I actually finished a bottle a few weeks ago. It was Bourbon cask, and a great version of a pure Bourbon cask. I think it was 10 years old something, with lots of sweetness. It was just pleasant and simple, fruity and alive, and very easy to indulge in.

Whisky #5
Committee bottling (21 Years Old if possible)

I really miss Islay and I think that Ardbeg is one of the magical places in the world. I’ve done a lot of fantastic travelling there too and met many wonderful people; I’ve tried so many good whiskies. The particular Ardbeg I would like is about 21 years old with a good element of sherry to it.

A Brief final luxury
I think I’ll take Paul McCartney with me. I think he would certainly be a luxury. He would definitely have to bring a musical instrument with him and then he could play his songs and tell me all the stories about what they did back then. I would want him also to have a computer full of photographs from back in the day. He could then sing me a song, show me a picture and tell me a tale.
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