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Style, innovation & equality

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Innovation

The world’s first whiskey based on artificial intelligence is launching today

Using only local ingredients, Mackmyra has brought unique Swedish flavours to the ever-so-demanding whiskey industry. With the help from a Finnish tech company, Microsoft, and the latest technology, they now challenge a very traditional market — claiming to have created the ultimate product.

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Words: Johan Magnusson

Swedish oak and Swedish smoke (juniper and Swedish peat) has helped Mackmyra to several awards, including European Whisky of the Year. They’re part of ”hundreds and hundreds of events every year”, according to CEO Magnus Dandanell and also welcome visitors to their very own Whisky village, including a climate smart Gravity Distillery.

— People all over Europe are fascinated by the innovative tastes and collect the seasonal whiskey series, he says.

How’s your business?

— Right now we take steps to make Europe our home market as one of the first craft distilleries that aim to grow all over the continent. It’s a huge market for craft spirits where we can double many times. We expand vigorously in Germany, UK and France. We have also just opened our second distillery and launched the Labdistillery Organic Gin, which also have a great potential in Europe and complements the whisky seasons.

Their tagline, ”Explorers of Whisky”, includes innovative Limited Editions together with other interesting brands, including Swedish jewelry designer Efva Attling, mulled wine producer Saturnus, and rum brand Plantation. The latest project, however, is something extra.

— We spoke with each other about AI and what AI can achieve. We thought it would be interesting to use it for blending a whiskey. We share office with Microsoft in Stockholm and asked them if it would be possible. They thought it was super interesting and connected us with Finnish tech company Fourkind. We put together 75 recipes of already launched whiskeys, together with ratings, awards, grades, sales numbers and more, that were sent to Finland. They inputted all the data and received suggestions on new recipes from AI, explains Susanne Tedsjö, Sales Director and Project Manager of the AI project.

Mackmyra’s Master Blender Angela D’Orazio — who were inducted into Whisky Magazine’s Hall of Fame a few months ago — then looked at the recipes and gave feedback. New ones came and after three rounds back and forth, she tried to blend them. Finally, one of the recipes were chosen.

—We always strive to challenge traditions in our, highly conservative, business, she says, which is something we seriously take into accouting producing a whiskey with AI. We consider it as part of our digital development and it’s super exciting to use it as a complement when producing high-quality whiskey, she says.