This is a Swedish malt whisky from Box distillery (soon to be renamed High Coast distillery to avoid confusion with Compass Box). Box Quercus I is the first release in a series that focuses on different types of oak, in this case European oak or Quercus Robur.
This 2012 spirit was matured for four years in 200-litre first-fill bourbon casks before being finished for seven months in 40-litre virgin Swedish oak casks. There’s a very detailed PDF on the Box website.
Box Quercus II is based around Quercus Alba.
Box Quercus I ‘Robur’
(50,8%, OB 2017, 50cl, 8229 btl.)
Nose: a bit of dusty oak up front. A freshly opened IKEA package (planks and cardboard). Pine sap. Minty notes, pepper and vanilla. On a second level there’s lemon zest, hints of apple. Sweet cereals and sweet gingerbread too.
Mouth: a big spiciness and full-on oaky notes. Hints of rye whiskey and brown bread. Some tobacco notes too. The more sweetness, hints of vanilla custard, something of apple eau-de-vie. Juniper berries, cloves and pepper.
Finish: medium long, dry and spicy with a mentholated edge, mainly on nutmeg and pepper.
This was my first Box so far, and I assume the spirit is nice enough, but the fresh Swedish oak is taking over and drowning it. This may be intentional / educational, but remind me to look for a more drinkable release from this distillery. Still available from Master of Malt and TWE.