Box Whisky The Archipelago Baltic Sea 2015, 3 YO, 54,8 %

Box Whisky The Archipelago Baltic Sea 2015This is the second special release from Box Whisky. Last summer they released the Box Whisky The Festival 2014, which was a peated whisky. The Box Whisky The Archipelago Baltic Sea 2015 (wow, that’s a mouth-full!) was bottled exclusively for Viking Line and was sold at the Cinderella Whisky Fair 2015,  January 15-17.

This is a young whisky, at 3 years and 33 days. It was distilled between 2011-11-25 and 2011-12-05, and was bottled on 2015-01-07. The whisky was matured in four 96 liter heavily charred new American oak casks. The total outturn was 700 bottles, and they were sold at SEK 899 on the ship. More details can be found here.

All bottles of the Box Whisky The Archipelago Baltic Sea 2015 were sold out immediately; see my article from the Whisky Fair for further details – it was absolutely crazy!

Nose (22/25): Malty and spicy upfront. Soft caramel, almonds, camphor, vanilla and marshmallows. As usual from Box Whisky, a pleasant nose.

Taste (21/25): Full-on sweetness and fizzy spiciness. Lots of oranges and pepper. A bit nutty. Ginger, and something that reminds me of ‘Champagne Soda’ that we had as kids.

Finish (19/25): Relatively short. Caramel, sugar, and a dry oakiness.

Balance (20/25): This is the first of the Box Whisky releases that have really come across as too young for me. Maybe we have been spoiled so far? Maybe it is the fact that this is a naked, and honest, release with young, unpeated whisky matured in new oak? It is still a whisky of great quality, but previous releases have been better.

Score (82/100)

– Thomas


  1. David Goldsmith says

    February 3, 2015 at 15:50

    I think to release anything at 3 years is a risk. Whisky is a mewling puking youth at only 3 years. To hide this, typically there is “something” e.g. spicy, smoky or very sweet to distract the taste buds. Ot a first fill Hungarian Oak barrel, with masses of spices and fire to share.

    Myself I could taste the bourbon finish very clearly. It was a pleasant dram but just showing us a flick of an ankle so to speak.

    My particular theory of relativity – I notice I was censored just now by the way – presumably for rambling on, and on, and on – anyhow, my particular theory of relativity is that one year’s barrel maturation in say Thailand (Kavalan) is worth three years in the Arctic North (Adalen, Box, or the new Myken destilleri in Nord Norge). So for Box it might well be 5-10 years before we can truly understand what they can do well. That is because of course time moves at different paces in different places, as we all know – nothing to do at all with ambient temperature and fluctuations of same, now is it??!! I do feel that barrel maturation and interactions, about which we know close to nothing, have a lot of mysteries to impart, over time.

    And its timely to have another theory of relativity – its 110 and 100 years respectively since Albert Einstein’s General and Special theories were published. So El Gold’s Remarkable Relativity theory is ripe for release and exploitation!!

    I hope my Anchor stays safe up in Adalen – for one “Box” year at least (knowing those thirsty Arctic Angels)

    • Hi David, thanks for the comments, as always. While I agree with you that it is a certain level of risk in releasing a 3 YO whisky matured in Nordic conditions (or Scottish for that matter), I also think it is an honest and bold move. Especially when the whisky is not hiding it youth behind tons of smoke or copious amounts of sherry influence.

      You are correct in that some of these young releases from Nordic distilleries are still too young, but not all of them. Some of them are in fact very mature for their age, and maturation is a lot more interesting than age as such. I must say that in general, a lot of what we see coming out from these new distilleries in the Nordic countries is ranging from quite mature to very mature for their age. And I suspect – and hope – it will only get better!


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