Susanne Marcus Svalefelt

Hello there, I’m Susanne, aka Whisky Queen. I have this nickname not because I’m a whisky connoisseur, but because I’m passionate about whisky.

During a Zoom meeting in 2020, a judge for a photography competition in my camera club gave me this nickname after he admired the whisky shelf behind me. And how could I resist using that name?

I’m Swedish but since 2019 I live in the beautiful West Cork, Ireland. I lived here in 2008, and after I moved back to Sweden, West Cork continued to be like home, and eventually I needed to do something about that. Now I live on a beautiful peninsula, surrounded by farmlands, the sea, and cows.

I never drank alcohol in my youth, but was introduced to it by my husband. I started out with hot Powers, then Midleton and Jameson, and around 2012 I ended up in a tasting with the local whisky club where we lived in Sweden. During my second tasting there, I started becoming fascinated by all the different flavours and aromas in the different whiskies. Where did they come from? What made one whisky different from another whisky? I started learning more and absorbed every bit of whisky knowledge I could get. And I’m continuing to do that!

In 2016 I started looking for whisky related courses and workshops to learn more, and ended up at the Irish whiskey academy at Midleton distillery for a two day workshop in the spring of 2017. About a year after that I started my first whisky blog, Irish drams, as a tool for myself to learn and explore Irish whiskey, but also to promote Irish whiskey to the world. The industry was expanding but Irish whiskey was still very underrated by many people, maybe especially in Sweden. That is changing now, which is delightful to see!

The blog was very useful to me as an archive of tasting notes and it has enabled me to connect with other whiskey enthusiasts and also with people in the industry, but sadly I fell into the comparison trap and took myself too seriously, started thinking too much of “should I really be doing this when I’m not an expert?” and criticised my articles too much, which killed my interest. It was time to move on, do something else, or get a better mindset around my whiskey blogging.

Mackmyra whisky

Whisky Queen was launched in August 2020, as a fun project alongside Irish drams, where I could allow myself to be an amateur and just have a bit of fun around whisky. I also wanted a place to brag about Swedish whisky. I’m Swedish after all, and I’m highly proud of Mackmyra, Smögen, High Coast and more. On this blog I also wanted to bring in my other passion in life, which is music. Whisky is an art form – and so is music. Whisky and music have lots of similarities that I’m going to talk about eventually.

Already when I decided to close down Irish drams I knew I wanted to go on with Whisky Queen. I had lots of interesting ideas for articles that I wanted to keep working on. Now I’ve had a well needed break, during which I’ve been fixing up this blog a bit. And I’m back to writing! I’m drowning in whisky samples and I’m looking forward to sharing my thoughts about them on this blog.

As you may have noticed, I use the spellings whisky and whiskey a bit interchangeably. Since I write about both whisky and whiskey, it’s hard to decide what to use in articles that talk about both whisky and whiskey. But in review posts I will use the spelling that is used by that particular whisk(e)y company.

Now, in 2021, I still call myself an passionate amateur around whisky, but at least have learned a thing or two since 2012. I welcome every source where I can learn more about whisky, and right now I’m attending another course about Irish whiskey, that made by Fionnan O’Connor and Matt Healy at Edinburgh whisky academy. I will continue to write about Irish whiskey here, but I will also write about Swedish, English, Scotch and other whiskies that are good.

And if you haven’t fallen asleep yet, welcome to my new blog!