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Helsinki Whiskey 100% Rye Malt review

Helsinki Distilling Company's 100% Rye Malt

The Helsinki Distilling Company (HDC) launched their first official release for retail markets in 2017. This 100% Rye Malt comes from Finland’s capital, where HDC was established in 2014.

HDC has 300 and 1500 liter pot stills with an annual production of 30 000 liters. Their spirits portfolio includes rye whiskey (single malts will be added soon), gin, aquavit and applejack.

So far they’ve released 4 batches of rye whiskey. 2 batches of 100% malted rye and 2 batches of rye malt (70% rye, 30% barley).

The one I’m reviewing is their 1st Release 100% Rye Malt Whiskey. It was made using malted rye from Viking Malt in Lahti. And it really is a small batch product, as small as it can get:

10 small 28 liter new French oak casks, 580 bottles released in total. Bottle number 72 in question.

Not for Ordinary People – but for rye whiskey enthusiasts

Well, I’m kidding. I think this suits for people who don’t normally drink strong rye whiskies. This is not a typical rye, which I guess, can be harsh. This is fresh and vibrant, quite smooth.

I just had to reference this to a good movie directed by first time director. Because that’s what this whiskey is, outstanding first release. Like Robert Redford did with Ordinary People, which won 4 Oscars, including best movie and best director.

Tasting Notes

Matured in:
Small French oak casks
ABV: 47.5%
Colour: Dark amber
Nose: Fresh strong notes of juniper, hints of pineapple peel. Very young and vibrant rye, freshly cut hay. Dominating juniper notes start to evolve into cranberries with toffee on the side.
Taste: Very smooth with mild notes of lingonberry, toffee and caramel. Slightly fruity too. Eventually, juniper shows up. Water really mellows things down.
Finish: Strong juniper finish, quite fast but good. Oak, bitter juniper and crispy young rye with rapid speed. All comes nicely back to your throat very late in the aftertaste. Water along with oxidation makes the finish smooth.
Balance: The young age really shows in every step. But it’s not in a bad way, except the quick finish. Otherwise, a daily good malted rye. Exceptionally smooth, yet nicely crispy!

Helsinki Single Malt Rye Scoring

Distillery: Helsinki Distilling Company Region: Helsinki, Finland

Helsinki Rye Whiskey - 1st Batch by Helsinki Distilling Company

100% Rye Malt by Helsinki Distilling Company

First release of Helsinki 100% Malted Rye Whiskey

Statement by HDC Master Distiller Mikko Mykkänen

Johannes Lindblom
Johannes Lindblom
Finnish whisky enthusiast and the author of WhiskyRant! A digital marketing professional by day – a whisky reviewer and informer by night.


  1. […] Matured in:American Virgin Oak Barrels, finished in Ex-Rum casksABV: 47.5%Colour: Dark amberNose: Pine and juniper. Floral with slightly fruity notes. Oak and rum get into the mix.Taste: Round full set of fruity and smooth rye. The rum influence is very strong, making it sweet and nicely dry.Finish: Rum really strikes in. Round and mellow, quite fast but good. Fruity and smooth.Balance: Easy to drink, probably the easiest rye whiskey I’ve tasted so far! More matured version than their first release. […]

  2. Michael Knappstein says:

    Would be great to have your view on all the Helsinki Distillery releases – kind of a vertical. Just tasted the # 20 at the distillery – really nice. And bought the # 19 at the recommendation of the sales staff at Alko. Haven’t tasted that one yet.

    • Johannes Lindblom says:

      Unfortunately I’ve been quite lazy with discovering HDC’s range, nice to hear that you’d like to get my views on them. My latest HDC release to try was #17 but after that I haven’t discovered any of their range. How did you like release 19?

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