The Festival 2014

We felt that any whisky festival of note should have its own special edition bottling. A bottling that is a true limited edition and can only be acquired by actually visiting the Box Whisky Festival. And of course – it should be a unique bottling that stands out and represents the high quality standards.

When we at Box acquire newly produced casks we normally pre-fill them with spirits for 5–6 months in order to extract some of the strong aromas that come from virgin oak. This creates a whole lot of extra work and need for planning, but is of utmost importance in order to achieve a harmonious maturation during the first filling.

For The Festival 2014 we tried something new. 16 ‘Ankare’ of American Oak were pre-filled with 34 to 35-month-old spirits from 100-litre Bourbon casks during a period of five months. The American Oak had been air-dried for 24 months and was medium+ toasted before charring. All of this represented a quite unique combination that resulted in a deeper and sweeter spiciness than one normally gets from charred American Oak. The combination of the Bourbon casks and new American Oak resulted in both interesting and exciting aromas as well as a beautiful colouring suitable for our first festival bottling.

Like every bottling from Box, The Festival 2014 has been neither chill-filtered nor coloured.

Ingredients

Malt: Peated pilsner malt from Castle Maltings in Belgium, barley mix of Henley/Sebastian. Dried using Scottish peat.
Batch size: 1,200 kg of malt / 6,300 litres of wort.
Process water: From The Bålsjön Lake, filtered through sand and carbon filters.
Yeast: Fermentis Safwhisky M-1.
Cooling water: From The Ångerman River.

Batch 18–27:
Malt: 31ppm phenols.
Average yeasting time: 81 hours in stainless steel washbacks. Distilled between the 8th and the 23rd of February 2011. 18 distillations included.
Average low wine distillation: 6 hours 1 minute.
First cut: 30 minutes (foreshots)
Second cut: 59% ABV (20°C)

Batch 56–66:
Malt: 39ppm phenols.
Average yeasting time: 79 hours in stainless steel washbacks. Distilled between the 2nd and the 19th of May 2011. 22 distillations included.
Average low wine distillation: 5 hours 28 minutes.
First cut: 30 minutes (foreshots)
Second cut: 60% ABV (20°C)

Maturation

All casks were submitted to aroma controls before filling. No divergent aromas were found apart from the expected vanilla and butterscotch.

Four 100-litre first fill Bourbon casks were filled with 67.7% ABV peated spirits (31ppm) between the 20th and the 21st of April 2011.

Five 100-litre first fill Bourbon casks were filled with 62.9% ABV peated spirits (39ppm) between the 18th and the 22st of April 2011.

The casks were stored in a damp warehouse and alcohol levels decreased by about 4% in all casks.

On the 27th of March 2014, 16 40-litre casks of American Oak were filled with 61.1% ABV matured peated spirits (averaging at 35ppm).

On the 16th of September 2014 the whisky was blended and the strength reduced using water to 53.5% ABV.

700 numbered bottles were produced as the official festival bottling. The remaining whisky was reduced to 53.7% ABV and some was bottled as ‘non-official’ bottles and the rest transferred to Bourbon casks for future use.

the-festival-2014-label

Facts

Alcohol: 53.5% ABV
Age: Three years, 116 days
Phenol: 35ppm (malt)
Casks: First fill Bourbon, finished in virgin American Oak
Number of bottles: 700
Bottle volume: 50 cl
Price: SEK 889