tisdag 14 november 2017

Swedish whisky from Box Distillery: Quercus 1 – Robur 50,8% ABV!

Beautiful red-brown color!
Dear friends and followers alike! Last week I was very lucky to receive a package that contained a sample from from Swedish distillery Box – The high coast distillery! Yay! The sample contained the first release in their new series called "Quercus". This is what the write about the new series and about this Robur-edition:

"Quercus is a range from Box Distillery wherein we try to explore the tastes that different species of oak gives to the whisky. The first edition is named Robur after the European Oak (pedunculate oak), Quercus robur in Latin. Quercus robur is common in Europe, especially in Burgundy and Limousine where it’s widely used in the wine- and cognac industry. It’s also that species of oak you’ll find in Scandinavia up to the north of Stockholm"

The whisky was first matured in first-fill 200 litre bourbon casks, and then finished for seven months in new/virgin swedish oak. To read absolutely everything about the process, the age, the maturation etcetera please feel free to click here 

Here in Sweden, Quercus 1 – Robur will be released on the state monopoly this friday (17th of november) and you can view the product by clicking here. Ok, let's see what we have here!

Starts off somewhat herb-y but most of all spicy. Behind the spicyness there is sawmill and planks, as well as ”dark” newly cut logs of spruce/fir. Beyond all this forest-yness hides a soft vanilla intermingling with something salt, I think the salt shows just a tad of peat. In the very depth of it all is something reminding me of cinnamon, maybe even nutmeg (?). Interestingly enough there is also cucumber-water and finally a lime cut in half left to dry for a couple of days on the kitchen bench…

Starts of on medium salt and then BAM! A big, fat, instantly dry spicyness hits you! Two seconds later new wood comes bursting in, making quite an entrance indeed. The new wood dies quite quickly and makes way for even more dry spicyness. After that a beautiful medium (dry) vanilla taskes over and slowly evolves into something partly reminding me of brandy (and/or apple jucie), partly reminding me of cognac. The heat of the whisky (the ABV) evolves in my chest, at the same time as the taste moves on into dried figs, overripe red grapes and finally fades away into a general sugar-y sweetness

To sum up:
I have a very ambivalent relationship to whisky matured in new swedish oak. In general, from the ones I’ve tasted so far, I find it to be, for my taste, ”too much” of the ”new” and of the ”wood” on the nose, as well as this kind of ”spicyness” on the taste. For me, this whisky is by far the most sucessfull one matured in new swedish oak, this is because there is a great complexity in this one, both on the nose and on the taste. For me, it was still a tad ”too much” and a tad ”too spicy” (but I did not water the whisky and maybe this would bring it down a notch…). Finally, big thanks to the people at Box Distillery for sharing sending a sample and for the opportunity to taste it before the release! Sláinte!

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Picture belongs to Box Distillery

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