As Scandinavia, and especially Sweden is becoming a world-class whisky producing region – not only thanks to big players like Mackmyra but also via smaller craft distilleries spreading the territory – there’s a lot to learn – AND TASTE – when it comes to Swedish whisky. If French are said to be the N°1 whisky consumers in the world, Sweden is actually known for being the biggest malt market per capita…
Box Distilleri, which released its first whisky a few years ago, appears to be the nothernmost working distillery in Sweden. Nestled within a unique environment and climatic conditions (very cold winters and very warm summers), its geographical situation enable the distillery to produce a unique nectar developing a wealth of flavours due to these storage conditions.
“even the day temperatures can fluctuate from below zero to +20C. The big river gives us cooling water enough to chill every distillery in the world. During long periods of the year it is only about two degrees. You can’t find a colder cooling water anywhere. That helps us to create a very estery and tasty spirit with maxmium copper contact.” Halsse Nilsson (interviewed by Dominic Roskrow)
The purpose of Box Distilleri is to create a high quality product, a world class malt whisky, aimed at demanding whisky enthusiasts, who are quite numerous in this wonderful part of the world, with an extreme attention to detail, especially regarding raw materials.
“Whisky made by experts, for experts” As they like to say.
I had the chance to be offered a sample of The Second Step Collection Edition 01 from the amazing chaps at Box.
98% of the final product profile comes from 130-gallon bourbon barrels and 2% from 100-liters toasted American oak casks. This expression is of course neither colored or chill-filtered and comes at 51.1% ABV. It’s said to be the smokiest release from Box so far. 7880 bottles produced including 7002 to be sold through the Swedish Systembolaget from April 22nd 2016.
This way for more details and an exhaustive list of all the ingredients that come into the composition of this expression
Nose: A sweet smoky breeze and a certain saltiness first come through with notes of driftwood, sea breeze, ripe peaches, leather, “Calissons d’Aix” (never forget the French reference only a few people might get… :/) and even some subtle floral hints in the background such as elderflower, heather and pine honey. Some pleasant smooth notes comes to perfectly balance the smoky side of the malt, this nose is a real treat and a genuine invitation to dream, picturing yourself savouring some toasted marshmallows over a roaring campfire in the Swedish forest after a long hike.
Palate: A real delight of smoky brown sugar, roasted almonds, sugary pine resin (you probably know those sweets made from pine buds and recommended to cure sore throat right? Here’s what I’m talking about!), sweet spices, charred wood, burnt caramel, pecan pie, herbal honey, figs, dates and oven-cooked orchard fruits. Overall, a beautifully crafted dram boasting an interesting complexity for its still-young age (even though older than the precedent expressions from Box), well-balanced and definitely something to suit the smoky whisky enthusiasts (and others as well… Hey, no discrimation here!) – Its smoky/sweet ratio actually reminds me of the latest Octomore release (7.4 Virgin Oak) – same kind of profile and balance.
Finish: Pretty lingering with smoky notes, coffee and dark chocolate. Finally, another impressive release from Box – which surely will continue to shine with other expressions of this sort over the coming years – Can’t wait for the Edition 02 now 🙂
Psssst! Find the recipe here!