Box Lengyel Utca 9

Box Lengyel Utca 9

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Box Lengyel Utca 9, 3 YO, 63,1%

Box Lengyel Utca 9

So, it's been far too long since last time I shared any tasting notes here on WhiskySaga.com, or anywhere for that matter. This little gem is a private cask from Box Destilleri AB in Sweden. A big thank you to my friend, cask owner Tobias Johnsson, for allowing me this bottle on the solemn oath that I would not attempt to peddle it at an auction somewhere.

The cask, a 26L "ankare" made from fresh Hungarian oak, was filled with Box' peated new make on 2011-07-16, and bottled on 2014-08-07. This makes the whisky just a shade over three years old. As young as whisky can be by EU law.

Two things I found with this whisky: Number one, it does gain from a few splashes of water. The high ABV and its young age means that without the water it behaves a little bit like the ghosts in Scooby Doo. You can feel it sneaking up on you, then it smacks you in the face and it's gone. After adding water it opens up and the finish lasts longer. Number two: Letting it breathe for a while allows it to open up even further. Letting it sit for 15-20 minutes in the glass after pouring it does improve what is a very good dram from the get-go.

Nose (21/25): Sweet, slightly minty. There's honey and heather. Also some peat and ashes. With water it opens up quite a bit. I'd say there's more of everything. Mint, heather, rosemary, thyme. It certainly gets more herbal. Also there's more of an oak'y spiciness.

Taste (23/25): Here's the slap in the face I was talking about. Without water you get a fresh, somewhat bitter, hit of oak and lemon peel, passion fruit and honey. Just leaving you with a whiff of minerally smoke. With water added it calms down and the harshness all but disappears. You can now find mint and heather, and everything has slowed down quite a bit.

Finish (22/25): Without the added water I was somewhat disappointed with the finish of this whisky. It disappeared quite fast. With the water it really did rise, though, allowing the sweetnes, oak and fruit to last.

Balance (22/25): A young and lively whisky. Not in any way too young, though. The size of the cask and the quality of the spirits means that this really is fully matured whisky, and with some water you get a chance to taste it before it flies away.

Score (88/100)

Sláinte! - Kjell Ove

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