onsdag 3 juni 2015

Swedish whisky from Box – The Explorer 48,3% ABV!

Friends and followers! As you might remember, I very recently visited the Swedish distillery Box together with a small bunch of bloggers and colleagues alike, if you have not read that story yet, please check it out here. One of the reasons we were invited was to have an exclusive taste of their upcoming release The Explorer which will be released this friday, at least here in Sweden, so do check out the link to the release by clicking here

The Explorer is the third release in their series called the Early Days Collection. As you might know by now the people at Box Distillery are (and always will be) very, very, very open with their recipies and production process because they really want us to know what we are drinking, and how it was produced. This is of course the case also with The Explorer. 

So quoting (and translating) the press-release-kit I was provided with:

"The Explorer is mainly matured in bourbon casks, three different sizes, 40 litre, 100 litre, and traditional quarter casks at 130 litres. The ages vary from 3 years and 3 months, to roughly above 4 years. 61 percent of the whisky is peated, which gives The Explorer a quite smoky character. 

Much of the taste also comes from new oak. Ten percent of the casks are so called Fresh Oak, which contributes with lots of powerful tastes. The kinds of new oak used are three; swedish oak, hungarian oak and american oak. The casks have been charred from three given specifications; moving from medium charring up to heavily charring. The charring is of great significance for the features of the whisky and a very important part of the work behind the Early Days Collection"

Ok, sounds great, let's have a taste shall we?! 

Gentle peat, soft smoke in mix with a very present but still restrained vanilla, sounds strange but it’s a bit hard to explain… to say that the vanilla definitely is there but not in the absolute foreground might be better… there is also some sugar-y-ish fudge, a bit of ”burned out campfire” (yay, my first time picking up campfire in a whisky!). I also pick up a touch of christmas tree, something citric but not very pronounced, the sweetness from overripe red apples… Veeery soft and quite fruity actually! Also, when it comes to the peat-profile/style of the peating itself, I kind of get a feeling of Connemara, yes! quite similar… (and you all know that I looove Connemara). One thing that is very obvious, compared to the previous releases is that on the nose there is no sign of, or anything at all reminding me of raw-spirit/new-make in this release. There was a wee bit of that in the previous releases, but non in this one. A very good sign. Let’s have a taste!

The peat is the thing that hits the tounge first. More peat on the palate than I figured there would be judging from the nose! Very delicate mix of soft vanilla somewhere in the background of everything, but the most pronounced stuff on the palate, after the peat, is a variety of different fruits, sort of like overripe banana, peach (both the actual fruit and peach-candy), honey-melon, apple, a touch of new oak, and quite fire-y-ish wood so to speak… When holding the whisky in my mouth for a couple of seconds or three, really tasting it, almost ”chewing” the whisky, I find that first comes the peat, then the touches of/the feeling of new oak acts as a bridge that slowly moves on into the fruity stuff. An absolute seamless developement of tastes on the palate, I’m not kidding folks, this is very good stuff… such a great composition when it comes to the total balance and how the flavours develop and interact! And, as I observed on the nose with no ”new-make vibes”, it’s absolutely the same on the palate. Of course one feels that it is quite a young whisky, but this is very, very good for being this age, very smooth, this is definitely their best so far!

Finally, a big thanks to the nice people at Box Distillery for providing me with the opportunity to try The Explorer! 

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