tisdag 22 juli 2014

Tasting the Swedish whisky Box 3yo – ’The Pioneer’ 48,1% ABV

Friends! On this very warm summer day (at least here in Sweden), I will taste the first release from the northern Swedish distillery Box! The name of this first release is ’The Pioneer’ for reasons we can all understand ☺ 

Now, Box is the 6th active distillery in Sweden to release ”fully matured” whisky (3yo as the law requires). So far I have tasted Mackmyra (but not done any tasting note here on the blog), Smögen and a couple of weeks ago I tasted Hven and they have all been really good so I’m really excited to try whisky from Box! Their name has had a very good international reputation ever since whisky experts around the world for the first time tried their new-make. I’ve never tried anything from Box before so, again, very excited. 

Box are (and will be) very very very open with their recipies and production process and so they really want us to know how this first bottling is composed, so for swedish followers please take time to read about that here

A short version of the recipie reads as follows: 50% of the whisky is unpeated and matured in 40 litre bourbon casks, 35% of the whisky is 31ppm peated malt and matured in 40 litre bourbon casks, the rest, 15% unpeated and matured in 200 litre bourbon casks and that part has in turn been transferred to 100 litre new charred swedish oak casks. All in all this gave 6508 bottles out of which 5000 went to the swedish state monopoly and sold out in one day (!) Ok, let’s try this one!    

At the absolute first nosing, coming straight from the sample bottle, I only get things reminding me of alcohol/new spirit etcetera. Now the whiskey has been in the glass for 15 minutes, the new spirit-touch is still there but more in the background, we also have a very big almost sugar-y sweetness in combo with some very light liquid honey (”akacia” sort of)… There’s also a quite small or mellow layer of peat with something citric behind it… I also pick up something kind of green, not herbal but maybe a touch of un-ripe honey melon… The whisky has now been in the glass for 30 minutes, the spirit-touch is ”still” in the centre of the nose together with something salt liquorice-ish. To me, my (first) impression is that this is a somehow quite anonymous whisky, at least on the nose but it does not have to be so on the palate, maybe my expectations are too high…  Anyways, let’s have a taste and see what the fuzz is all about ☺

Mmm! Very nice indeed, definitely the perfect/optimal strength for this flavor and this style of whisky which creates a nice balance. The first thing I pick up is a quite salty and peaty start that really grabs a hold of my tounge. The flavors after that really do delvelope very slowly and almost seamless, good work fellas! We have fudge and soft vanilla, in other words stuff reminding of bourbon maturation, there’s touches of almond paste or maybe more of marzipan actually, a touch of bread yeast in combo with a very very small new spirit-touch, a little spicyness… Medium dry at the very end of the aftertaste, but oh soo calm, and that sugary sweetness from the nose is there on the palate, especially in the aftertaste… Overall on the palate, we have a lot more going on than on the nose, absolutely not anonymous on this side of things, in fact, probably very good for being this young. Extra points for the perfect strength for this particular flavor, nice!

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