Early Days Collection

The Pioneer

The main idea behind the first official Box whisky was to be able to present a relatively traditional bottling from Bourbon casks. And frankly, three years is quite a short time when it comes to storing whisky, so we knew we had to use quite large quantities of peated whisky for the first bottling in order to take the edge of the finished product’s youthful qualities. We now know that The Box Unpeated Recipe stands up more than well in the competition, however youthful it may be, and that there wasn’t really any need to hide or masque the youthfulness.

Recipe

50% unpeated and 35% peated whisky (31ppm) matured for three years in Bourbon ‘Ankare’ (40 litres) and 15% unpeated whisky matured for two years in 200-litre Bourbon casks and that’s been finished in 100-litre casks of charred, new Swedish oak. The light smoky whisky has a clear but moderate peat flavour. The elements of Swedish charred oak contribute with spices and notes of caramel and butterscotch as well as some deeper colour. The Pioneer has been neither chill filtered nor coloured.

Ingredients

Yeast: Fermentis Safwhisky M-1
Unpeated malt: Pilsner malt from Vikingmalt in Halmstad, barley mix of Tipple/Quench/Astorian as well as Tipple/Quench/Publican.
Peated malt: Pilsner malt from Castle Maltings in Belgium, barley mix of Henley (70%) and Sebastian (30%). Dried with Scottish peat achieving a phenol level of 31ppm.
Process water: From the Bålsjön Lake, some five kilometres from the distillery, filtered through sand and carbon filters.

the-pioneer-label

Process

Cooling water: From the Ångerman River (between 3.0 and 5.5 degrees)
Batches: 18–37, 40–47
Batch size: 1.2 tons of malt.
Average yeasting time: 79 hours in stainless steel washbacks.
Distilled: between the 8th of February and the 30th of March 2011. A total of 53 distillations.
Average low wine distillation: 5 hours 47 minutes.

First cut:
Unpeated recipe: 10 minutes (foreshots)
Peated recipe: 30 minutes (foreshots)

Second cut:
Unpeated recipe: 67% ABV (20°C)
Peated recipe: 59% ABV (20°C)

Casks

All casks were submitted to aroma controls before filling. Any divergent aromas in the Bourbon casks, apart from the expected vanilla and butterscotch, were noted in the cask log. In these casks, elements of somewhat unusual flavours such as strawberries, mandarins, pralines, rose hip, oranges, liquorice, grass, rum raisin and candy were found.

On the 5th of April 2011, 35 Bourbon ‘Ankare’ were filled with unpeated spirits with an alcohol level of 71.6% ABV. On the 16th and 17th of April the same year, 21 Bourbon ‘Ankare’ were filled with peated (31ppm) spirits with an alcohol level of 67.7% ABV. And on the 21st of March and the 15th of May 2011, 4 100-litre casks of Swedish charred oak casks were filled with 2-year-old unpeated spirits matured in 200-litre Jack Daniels casks since the 16th of March. The original alcohol level was 72.8 ABV.

The Swedish oak comes from Ljungby and Mönsterås and has been seasoned outdoors for 36 months.

The whisky was subsequently matured in a damp warehouse and alcohol levels dropped by about 6% in all casks. In total 2,175 kg of whisky, with an alcohol level of 64.27% was emptied. Alcohol level was adjusted to the predetermined level of 48.1% during bottling.

Edition

The Pioneer was bottled in a batch of 6,508 bottles of which 5,000 were released to the public on the 5th of June 2014. The remaining bottles were reserved for our stockholders.

We recommend that you allow The Pioneer at least half an hour for aerating before sampling.

The Challenger

The second edition of The Early Days Collection has been created in a different way compared with The Pioneer. Here, you’ll find much more peat and clear elements of sherry that sit well during the year’s chillier months. This might still be a fairly young whisky, but it’s still a good match for older bottlings.

The Challenger Recipe

74% peated whisky (31 and 39ppm) matured for 3.5 years in 40-litre Bourbon ‘Ankare’.

15% unpeated whisky matured for 3 years and 1 month in 40-litre Oloroso ‘Ankare’.

11% peated whisky (45ppm) matured for 3 years and 1 month in 40-litre Oloroso ‘Ankare’.

The Challenger has neither been chill-filtered nor coloured.

Ingredients

Yeast: Fermentis Safwhisky M-1.
Unpeated malt: Pilsner malt from Viking Malt in Halmstad, barley mix of Quench/Publican/Henley.
Peated malt: Pilsner malt from Castle Maltings in Belgium, barley mix of Henley/Sebastian. Dried with Scottish peat, reaching a phenol level of 31, 39 and 45ppm.
Process water: From the Bålsjön Lake, filtered through sand and carbon filters.
Cooling water: From the Ångerman River, winter temperatures.
Batches included: 18-27, 56-69, 115-124, 135-142.
Batch size: 1.2 tons of malt.
Average yeasting time: 79 hours in stainless steel washbacks.

Distilled between the 4th of February and the 4th of October 2011. A total of 80 distillations included.

First cut:
Unpeated recipe: 13 minutes (foreshots)
Peated recipe: 30 minutes (foreshots)

Second cut:
Unpeated recipe: 67% ABV (20°C)
Peated recipe: 59% ABV (20°C) batch 18–27, 60% ABV (20°C) batch 56–69 and 115–124.

the-challenger-label

Casks used

11 Bourbon ‘Ankare’ filled with 67.7% ABV peated spirits (31ppm) on the 16th of April 2011.
20 Bourbon ‘Ankare’ filled with 63% ABV peated spirits (39ppm) on the 18th of May 2011.
23 Bourbon ‘Ankare’ filled with 63% ABV peated spirits (39ppm) on the 26th of May 2011.
10 Sherry ‘Ankare’ filled with 62.4% ABV unpeated spirits on the 5th of October 2011.
7 Sherry ‘Ankare’ filled with 60.7% ABV peated spirits (45ppm) on the 6th of October 2011.

All casks were submitted to aroma controls before the filling. Any divergent aromas apart from the expected vanilla, butterscotch, raisin and dried fruit were noted in the cask log.

The whisky was matured in a damp warehouse and alcohol levels dropped some 4–6% in all the casks.

On the 6th and 7th of November 2014, 2,122.8 kg of whisky with an alcohol level of 57.4% was emptied.

The alcohol level was adjusted to the predetermined 48.2% during the bottling process. The Challenger was bottled in an edition of 5,416 bottles. 5,000 of these were released via Systembolaget (Swedish state alcohol distribution network) website. The remaining bottles were retained for fairs, tastings, partner pubs and a small number of foreign markets.

We recommend that you allow The Challenger a few minutes to breathe in the glass before tasting. Feel free to add a few drops of water in order to lift the aromas in the glass.

Facts

Alcohol level: 48.2% ABV
Age: 3 years 32 days
Phenol: 0, 31, 39 and 45ppm. An average of 33ppm (malt)
Casks: First fill Bourbon and first fill Oloroso sherry
Number of bottles: 5,416
Bottle volume: 50 cl
Price: SEK 837

 

 

 

 

The Explorer

The Explorer is the third edition of The Early Days Collection – an exploration of younger whisky and what can actually be achieved by employing painstaking care in the work with casks and the production process. The idea is to allow the four Early Days Collection editions to represent the different development stages – stages that together tell the whisky-loving world the beginnings of the Box Distillery history.

The Explorer is mainly a Bourbon-matured whisky in three different cask sizes – 40, 100 and 130-litres. Age varies between three years and three months, up to almost four years. Approximately 60% of the whisky comes from peated distillate, which gives The Explorer a peaty character. Much of its aroma and taste originates in new oak and 12% of the casks used are made from Virgin Oak – that is new oak casks never before used to store wine or Bourbon. The new oak casks contribute with powerful flavours. For The Explorer, we’ve chosen to use three kinds of oak: Swedish Oak (Quercus robur), American Oak (Quercus alba) and Hungarian Oak (Quercus petraea). This makes The Explorer a true study in all things oak and what a master blander can achieve with different types of wood and degrees of toasting. The vast possibilities and characteristics of oak have had a huge impact on the work with the entire Early Days Collection range.

Recipe

61% of the whisky is made from peated malt (39–45ppm).
88% has been matured in Bourbon casks (40, 100 and 130-litres).
4% has been matured in100-litre heavily toasted American Oak.
4% has been matured in 55-litre medium toasted Hungarian Oak.
4% has been finished in 100-litre Swedish Oak that has been medium+ toasted before charring.
The Explorer has been neither chill filtered nor coloured.

Ingredients

Yeast: Fermentis Safwhisky M-1.
Unpeated malt: Pilsner malt from Vikingmalt in Halmstad, barley mix of Quench/Publican/Henley.
Peated malt: Pilsner malt from Castle Maltings in Belgium, barley mix of Henley/Sebastian. Dried with Scottish peat achieving a phenol level of 39, 43 and 45ppm.
Process water: From the Bålsjön Lake, filtered through sand and carbon filters.

the-explorer-label

Process

Cooling water: From the Ångerman River.
Batches included: 27, 40–69, 82–102, 110–113, 124, 135–142, 146–153, 189–194.
Batch size: 1.2 tons of malt.
Average yeasting time: 80 hours in stainless steel washbacks.
Distilled: between the 21st of February 2011 and the 16th of January 2012.

First cut:
Unpeated recipe: 13 minutes (foreshots)
Peated recipe: 30 minutes (foreshots)

Second cut:
Unpeated recipe: 67% ABV (20°C)
Peated Recipe: 60% ABV (20°C)

Casks

The Bourbon casks are produced in the sizes of 40, 100 and 130-litres using newly emptied Bourbon barrels. Any divergent aroma, apart from the expected vanilla and butterscotch, were noted in the cask logs.

The American Oak casks are made from heavily toasted white oak (Quercus alba) seasoned outdoors for 24 months.

The Hungarian Oak casks are made from medium toasted sessile oak (Quercus petraea) from the north of Hungary (Zemplén and Börzsöny) seasoned outdoors for at least 24 months.

The Swedish Oak casks were made from pedunculate oak (Quercus robur) during October 2013 using material from Nävragöl, outside Karlskrona. They were fitted to size during January 2009 and seasoned outdoors for 36 months. Before charring, the casks underwent medium+ toasting.

Between the 16th and the 29th of April 2015, 4,028 kg of whisky with an alcohol level of 58.37% AGV was emptied into a vatting tank.

The alcohol level was adjusted to the predetermined level of 48.3% during bottling. The Explorer was bottled between the 4th and 7th of May 2015 in an edition of 10,549 bottles. 10,002 of these were released to the public on the 5th of June through 50 select Systembolaget (Swedish state alcohol distribution network) stores. The remaining bottles were retained for whisky fairs, tastings, partner pubs and select foreign markets.

We recommend allowing The Explorer at least a quarter of an hour of air in the glass before sampling. Feel free to add a few drops of water in order to further the aromas in the glass.

The Messenger

The fourth and final edition of the Early Days Collection series takes a distinct step towards the box bottling of the future with less sense of small casks dominating the taste. Now at last, we’ve captured the feeling of what can only be described as The Box House Style. The Messenger is an envoy that communicates what is to be and what’s to come, something that becomes even more evident in the following series.

Recipe

76% of the whisky comes from a 130-litre Bourbon cask whereas the remaining 24% comes from 100-litre Oloroso sherry casks.

7% of the whisky included is peated.

The Messenger has been neither chill-filtered nor coloured.

Ingredients

Yeast: Fermentis Safwhisky M-1.
Unpeated malt: Pilsner malt from Vikingmalt in Halmstad.
Peated malt: Pilsner malt from Castle Maltings in Belgium. Dried using Scottish peat reaching a 45ppm phenols.
Process water: From the Bålsjön Lake, filtered through sand and coal filters.
Cooling water: From the Ångerman River.
Batches included: 82B-102B, 113B-114B, 129B-132A, 135B-165A.
Batch size: 1.2 tons of malt.
Average yeasting time: 80 hours in stainless steel washbacks.
Distilled between 2011-06-22 and 2011-11-04.

First cut:
Unpeated recipe: 13 minutes (foreshots)
Peated recipe: 30 minutes (foreshots)

Second cut:
Unpeated recipe: 67% ABV (20°C)
Peated recipe: 60% ABV (20°C)

Casks used

The bourbon casks are Quarter cask sized (130–140 litres) produced by the Speyside Cooperage using newly-emptied bourbon barrels (200-litres).

The sherry casks have been remade into 100-litre casks by Thorslundkagge, using old 500-litre Oloroso casks.

Up until October 2014 the casks were stored in a damp warehouse and lost some of their alcohol. Between October 2014 and November 2015, the casks were stored in a drier environment in Box warehouse number 3.

On the 5th of November 2015, 3,084 kg of whisky with an average alcohol content of 59.3% were added to a vatting tank.

During bottling, the alcohol level was adjusted to the predetermined 48.4%. The Messenger was bottled between the 9th and the 12th of November 2015 in a batch of 8,169 bottles. 8,004 bottles were released via the Swedish state alcohol distribution network Systembolaget on the 4th of September 2015. The remaining bottles were retained for whisky fairs, tastings and select foreign markets.

We recommend letting The Messenger breathe for a while in the glass before drinking. Feel free to add a few drops of water in order to enhance and bring the whisky’s aroma to life.