Friends! On this very autmn-y winters day (at least here in Sweden), I will taste the second release (or third release depending on how you count) from the northern Swedish distillery Box! The name of this release is ’The Challenger’ for reasons we can all understand ☺It challenges their first release and perhaps even other Swedish whiskies?!
As I stated when I tasted their first release, Box are (and will be) very very very open with their recipies and production process and so they really want us to know also how this bottling is composed, so for swedish followers please take time to read about that here
But other people than those who know swedish might also want to know what this bottling consists of, so to narrow it down, it has only been matured in small casks holding 40 litres, a mix of unpeated and peated malt with the average peating level ending up at 33ppm, a mix of bourbon and oloroso sherry casks (white oak or european oak is not stated) was used with the ratio being 89/11. The age of the whisky is between 3 years and one month, up to 3 years and 6 months.
Well ok! Let's see what we have here!
When opening the sample bottle and pouring a dram I first picked up lots of notes movin towards nutty stuff. There was also marzipan, and something forrest-y, resembling Tobermory and Cardhu in style. Now the whisky has rested in the glass for about 10 minutes or so. All that stuff is still there but more intense, also something that has to do with apples. A slight touch of vanilla and some citric elements with just a touch of youngness/spirity. AND, a discrete touch of peat (but not smoke), sort of fleeting and passing by… even though it’s discrete it’s still very much there if you know what I mean… This is definitely more mature in style than ’The Pioneer’! If it’s fair to compare the two… (Well why not?! I pour a small dram of ’The pioneer’ and as you can see in the picture it’s much lighter in color. Pioneer Nose: Oh yes, as I remembered, pioneer is sligtly ”thinner” on the nose in comparison to the challenger. They definitely have common elements though, but Pioneer seems more citric and more peaty…). Anyways, let’s have a taste and see what’s on the palate of ’The Challenger’!
Mmm! Dozens of more peat on the palate than what came through on the nose! Wow, this is really good, we have milkchocolate, a slight slight touch of weak coffee, peaty vanilla and more peat ☺ Also, some touches of quite salt liquorice, or is it sea salt? Quite creamy and rich actually! This is definitely a step forward from ’The Pioneer’, which was also good of course, but ’The Challenger’ is definitely more mature from what I remember tasting it! (Well what am I thinking, I have dram of it here, let’s try that one too while we are at it… Pioneer Palate: Well well! Pioneer is also creamy, lot’s of vanilla, very herby and spicy, not as much peat and definitely not as much deepness as in Challenger though…). Going back to Challenger… oh yes, this is very good, both in itself and in comparison. Sooo creamy and so thick in texture and mouthfeel! Well done boys, and it sure is getting there, can’t wait for the next release!
Big thanks to my friend Niklas who sold me a sample of ’The Challenger’! Sláinte!
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