Hven Seven Stars No.3 Phecda Organic Single Malt Whisky

Hven is a family run distillery on a small island of the same name in the Strait between Denmark and Sweden. DTS reviewed their Organic Gin here, but today I’m taking a look at one of their single malt whiskies: Seven Stars No.3: Phecda. It is the third in a limited edition series; one whisky is being released each year until 2019, each of which is named after one of the seven stars in the constellation Ursa Major (the Plough). Phecda follows Dubhe and Merak.

Hven Seven Stars No3 FINAL

The whisky is bottled at the distillery at 45% ABV and is certified organic. Let’s see what it tastes like.

On its own
Nose: Meaty smokiness on top, with a rich note of ginger underneath – fresh gingerbread and salty seat air. With a bit of warmth and time in the glass, notes of honey and fruity vermouth come through.
Taste: Wonderfully smooth. The start is light and silky, followed by a flash of warmth and honey sweetness. Dry flavours then unfold in the form of complex notes of chilli spice, slightly bitter tobacco, and a light nuttiness.
Finish: A soft woodiness on top, with dry, complex notes of bonfire smoke underneath.

Rob Roy
Smooth and well-integrated, with flavours of smoke and berry fruitiness (cranberry and raspberry), followed by cola, a hint of dark chocolate, dry biscuit, and sherry-soaked wood. The finish is dry, smokey, and woody with touches of berry sweetness and a more green, herbal note.

Old Fashioned
Absolutely delicious. Rich Pedro Ximinez spice, berries, and grape and a strong, bonfire smokiness. A complex, but beautiful array of spice, sweet dark sugar, a little fruit cake, and a dash of cherry, but with a the savoury freshness of a red bell pepper. This fades into woody liquorice notes with hints of cream sherry and creamy, dark coffee.

Whisky & Soda
A refreshing and complex drink. The soda water lengthens and cools the spirit without masking its complexity. Smooth, sweet notes are followed by deeper, more resinous and lightly smokey wood notes, which are kept bright by the mixer’s effervescence.

In Conclusion
I think the concept behind the Seven Star whiskies is a brilliant one and No.3 Phecda is wonderful whisky: not too heavy, but with a full flavour profile that develops over time. It also works exceptionally well in all of the cocktails that we tried, although the Old Fashioned stood out in particular.

– Mrs. B.

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Cocktails with… Hven Organic Gin

HvenTitle

Hven Organic Gin comes from the Island of Ven or ‘Hven’, situated in the Öresund
Strait between Denmark and Sweden. This is a small island, around three square miles in area, and has a population of only a few hundred.

Hven Gin is made with a wheat spirit base and a whole array of botanicals, including: Swedish Juniper, Mauritian Bourbon Vanilla, Cassia, Grains of Paradise, Citrus, Sichuan pepper, Aniseed, Guinea Pepper, Calamus Root and Cardamom. Before the distillation, the botanicals are macerated in spirit in oak barrels for 24 hours. After a distillation with these botanicals, the distillate is then rested in casks, before being re-distilled and bottled at 40% ABV.

HvenBottle

On its own
Nose: Crisp green apple and pink grapefruit with a hint of vanilla.
Taste: What is immediately noticeable with Hven is the texture of the gin: it is almost water-like in its smoothness. Initially, there are notes of citrus, especially grapefruit, followed by some coriander and then a little spice and vanilla sweetness. There’s a burst of dry pine towards the end and a long, lasting finish with a little citrus tang.

HvenTonicGin & Tonic
Lots of citrus and cilantro; incredibly crisp and fresh. This is a Gin & Tonic that sets itself apart, with the crisp citrus notes being more leafy than juicy. It makes for a refreshing drink with some bitterness, which will appeal to those who shun sickly sweet cocktails.

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HvenMartiniMartini
A rather fragrant and leafy Martini with citrus and a touch of nuttiness. The perfumed aspect of the coriander and a slight hay-like aspect also come through. This is a very complex Martini with many layers of flavours that open up as you drink.

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HvenNegroni

Negroni
A rich, thick and flavourful Negroni, with a strong, jammy hint of raisin coming through, Along with cassia and cinnamon, this gives the drink a fruity, confectionary element, which is followed by an enduring bitter streak at the end. As I drink, I am reminded of Christmas pudding. This is different, but quite exciting and well worth a try.
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HvenTonicGin Collins
The floral citrus notes of this gin work well with the tart lemon, as well as adding a little dryness. The gin sits quietly in the background for this drink, but is still discernable. If you want a bit more of the spirit, then I’d suggest adding an extra half measure of gin.

HvenSweetMartiniSweet Martini
This has a perfumed flavour, with a combination of floral herbs and spice. This would make an excellent aperitif and would probably be quite well-suited to preceding a fish dish. (After a test, this does appear to be the case.)

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HvenIceOver Ice with Lemon
This is a recommended serve on the Hven website.
Works very well at this temperature, where the texture becomes a tad more viscous. The fresh, zesty lemon complements the floral citrus notes of the spirit.

In Conclusion
Tasting Hven makes it clear that there is more to this spirit than a striking bottle. My favourite drink was the Negroni.

Hven Gin is bottled at 40%ABV and is available for around £30 for 50cl from Master of Malt.