lördag 5 november 2016

Swedish whisky from Box – Dálvve 46% ABV

Dear friends and followers! Yesterday I was very lucky to receive a package containing something very exciting, a sample of the first ”core range”/signature malt whisky from the swedish distillery Box! So far, they have focused on releasing various (very high quality) limited editions. Since the distillery is quite young indeed, it is understandable that these limited editions have not been very big releases in terms of number of bottles. 

However, when I visited Box Distillery about 1,5 years ago (read all about it here), they mentioned that they soon will release a core range whisky. And now, they are at that point! 

As you might know, Box Distillery, known as ”The High Coast Distillery”, is one of the worlds most northern distilleries. Drawing on their nordic location and their nordic heritage, for their core range whisky/signature malt they have borrowed it’s name and taken inspiration from the language of the indigenous Sami people, choosing to call their whisky Dálvve, simply meaning winter. Dálvve will be released at the swedish state monopoly this monday, please follow this link to view it. 

For a change, and very unusual for being Box Distilley, the pressrelease enclosed with the sample did not contain any info at all regarding the age, maturation etcetera of the whisky. Therefor, I decided to send a text to the Distilley Manager/Master Distiller Roger Melander with these questions:

1. In short notes, what is the recipe for Dálvve? Types of casks used, ratio of peat, age?
2. How many bottles have been stashed away for the Swedish state monopoly of this first batch?
3. From batch to batch, will the recipe of Dállve change concerning the age?

This is what Roger was kind enough to reply: 
Dálvve is matured completely in bourbon casks. Mostly 200 litre casks but also some 135 litre casks. Circa 24% of the whisky has been peated (11ppm on average). The youngest drops are 5,07 years old and an average age of 5,26 years old. 9000 bottles of batch 01 is set aside for the state monopoly. In total circa 14000 bottles have been produced. The style will be the same but of course with variations from batch to batch”. 

Ok, very exciting indeed, let’s see what we have here!

In the very front of the nose, the first layer, there is a really, really softly whispering and discrete kind of vanilla intermingling quietly with fruits such as medium-ripe pears and swedish winter apples. There is also some kind of superslight touch of light honey. In the second layer an oak-y-ness is definitely calling for attention in the form of fir tree, not really christmas tree but anyways, it’s fir, maybe even fir branches? This reminds me of the very specific kind of nose that swedish oak maturation does for the whisky from Box… Nosing deeper into the second layer I happen to find some ”burnt” notes, however no smoke, peat or ashes, rather roasted almonds and newly charred oak. Going even deeper, in the third layer we have something reminding me of lime sugar syrup, mmm… All in all, this is a very calm version of Box, the nose is very soft but still interesting, elegant but very intriguing. Ok, let’s have a taste!

Well, it’s definitley whisky from Box Distillery! (if you’ve tasted their whisky before you will recognise their profile). Starts of quite complex indeed with a perfect (and quite schizophrenic) mix of sugary sweet and coastal salt-yness. The sweetness could also be interpreted as some kind of citric sweet flavours mixed with a liquorice salt-y peatiness… Actually, the peat kind of grows on you, evolving quite fast! In the beginning of the taste there is a slight hint of young whisky but as the peat grows the (young) age is definitely something that looses focus. When the peat slowly goes away from the palate the oak-y-ness and the fir tree along with the slightly ”burnt notes” takes the overhand, even something reminding me of something like juniper… In the aftertaste all of this developes into a medium dryness. Finally, it fades out into vanilla and fruit-y-ness… All in all, the strength of 46% ABV is a perfect choice, and due to the ”burnt notes” alongside with the slight peaty-ness it feels a bit stronger than 46. 

To sum up: A job well done! Dálvve is a really good whisky and considering the fact that you can get a 70 cl bottle of circa 5yo swedish whisky for around €50 is just great! This style of whisky I think is very easy for most people to like, just a slight touch of peat on the nose and a tad more peat on the taste/palate. Very likeable indeed and as i metioned, soft but still interesting, elegant but very intriguing ☺ Big thanks to the nice people of Box Distillery for the opportunity to taste this whisky and an extra thanks to Roger for being so kind to answer my questions on a Saturday! Sláinte!

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picture belongs to Box Distillery

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