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