Box The Pioneer 48.1%

box_pioneerNose: A bit rough, you can smell its age. Pear lollies and spruce. Water adds bay leaf and lemon, rosemary and some congeners. More water tames the congeners and brings out the malt.

Palate: There’s something undefinably young on the palate as well, but it’s a well-balanced dram, with black pepper and wood, a hint of acetone and something fruity. Plums, perhaps? Water emphasises the acetone, but also provides peach jelly and more wood. With quite a lot of water it blossoms. The pepper is still there, but otherwise I get vanilla ice cream with lemon balm.

Comments: It presents as somewhat too young, but with enough water it’s quite nice. I remeber the Försmak edition I tasted at TWF as less congener-affected, but then that was a peated version and peat does conceal rather a lot. I’ve poured another and let it stand for half an hour or so to breathe, and that has helped a lot. I doubt I’ll add water now, it’s nice as is. The overall judgement is promising rather than perfect, but then I guess the destillery would agree, they have, after all, released it as an early days edition.

Nordic whisky news #1

Times are exciting when it comes to Nordic whisky. This series of blog posts (in English) will sum up some of the most important news on the subject. Looking for news in Norwegian? See Nyheter.

Sweden: Two Swedish distilleries launched exciting expressions in Systembolaget’s June release on the 5th. Spirit of Hven released a single cask bottling, Sankt Ibb, fat 11-217, distilled from barley grown just outside the distillery. With only 273 bottles available, it was gone before you could blink. More interesting, as far as I’m concerned, Box launched their first whisky bottling (their earlier releases have been less than three years old). Box Pioneer was available in a batch of 5000 bottles, with a maximum order per person of 2 bottles, but even so, it was all gone by the end of the first day. I have two bottles waiting for me, and will publish tasting notes in due time.

Sweden: Talking about Box, the distillery has its own mini-festival, and it’s taking place on the 28th of June. Box Whiskyfestival features loads of masterclasses, a chance to tour the distillery, food and drink at the bar, including a festival beer, several whisky importers with their wares and live music.

Norway: The news of a planned distillery at Myken, north of the Arctic Circle, has garnered interest worldwide. Among others: Canadian Eye on the Arctic, Barents Observer and The Spirits Business. The distillery plans are part of a greater initiative to breathe new life into the community of Myken, The Myken Project. If this sparks your interest, there is a Kickstarter project in search of funding to make a documentary about the whole thing.

Box Försmak bourbon cask smoky newmake 20 months 57%

TWF14-14Nose: Strong similarities to the Kilkerran WIP batch 1; more like aquae vitae than whisky, but very, very nice.

Palate: Malt with an aquae vitae and spruce profile.

Comments: Very promising, but also quite drinkable as is.

(Tasted at Trondheim Whiskyfestival 2014.)