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.
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.
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.
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.
Unpeated recipe: 13 minutes (foreshots)
Peated recipe: 30 minutes (foreshots)
Unpeated recipe: 67% ABV (20°C)
Peated Recipe: 60% ABV (20°C)
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.