Photograph: Magnus

Summary of Box Distillery whisky festival

I had the pleasure to visit the Box Distillery whisky festival this year.  Me and my girlfriends dad went to the festival that was about one hour drive from their home. The whole day ways a real treat and I had the chance to try both new and old whiskies.


Box distillery is a newly started whisky distillery based in northern part of Sweden. It’s about one hour drive from Härnösand and is lovely situated in Bjärtrå, Marieberg, close by the water. The distillery hasn’t started to produce anything yet but they have imported whisky to Sweden and branded it with the name Box Selected. The project has a close team with names as Anders Jonasson and the whisky legend, John McDougall. The distillery have now gained resources to start building and importing equipment.

The day

I first read about the festival when me and my girlfriend came up the Härnösand on our  vacation this year. I already knew about the distillery but was not aware that there would be a whisky festival. So I took my girlfriends dad with me to the festival, great to have a driver so I could try some new gems… The drive was about an hour from their home so it was not too long, I just got my GPS up and we where off. When we came to Bjärtrå, the festival had just started and there where already quite a lot of folks there.

Box Distillery truck

I read on their website afterwards that there was about three hundred people visiting the festival so they must have been satisfied. I signed up for a tour of the distillery history and the area around.

Box Distillery guide

First we got some history about the building, an old electric mill which laid beautiful by the river stream.

Box Distillery building

We walked to the place where and old factory laid which produced wooden boxes for England long time ago, this is where they have got their name, Box Distillery.

We then we went to see where they would take their water, their water source called ”Fru  Vibergs källa” which was just some hundred meters from the coming distillery.  We also had a chance to try their water which tasted very well.

Box Distillery water source

After the tour me and PO (my girlfriends dad) had a lunch, they had a restaurant outside the distillery who grilled sandwiched and other stuff. Great stuff. Afterwards I talked to the owners and decided to get some shares in the company. Just one little B post but still. Now I am a proud share owner of a distillery in Sweden. Afterwards I read that the distillery achieved the goal of signing shares for a million SEK that day, and that there was about hundred new share owners.

As a share owner I and the others had access to their VIP lounge. There we got to listen to Anders and John talking about the distillery, the plans and taste some really nice whiskies from Bowmore and Caol Ila.

Afterwards there was a whisky tasting session which I had signed up for.  John and Anders talked again about the distillery and about whisky in general. For about an hour we had a chance to taste four whiskies and have a really nice time. We sat in the upcoming distillery building, a big room with high in roof and large beautiful windows which you could see the water outside.

Box Distillery factory

We got a chance to see the plans how it would be built and executed, exciting stuff. The tasting was real nice and fun, John is a great speaker and it was even easy to understand a Scott, hehe.

John holding the tasting

The whiskies

I had the pleasure to try six different whiskies during the day. Both really fine and high quality, a characteristic for both Box distillery and John McDougall.

Box Distillery whiskies

Cao Ila 28yo

This gem was really really nice. The whisky is at 53% quite golden at the colour. Lots of taste of honey,  lots of flavour, smokiness and pleasant sweatiness.

Longmorn, 1996

This piece has at first little aroma but the taste is full and broad taste of marzipan and vanilla. Quite light and golden at colour and is quite stingy in the corner of one’s mouth. Lots of sweets, honey and chocolate. Could this be one of my new favourites?

Bowmore 8yo, 1999 Cask Single Malt

Has a good character for it’s age,with lovely smoke and peat. I think it really needs water to blossom as it is has lots of percent, 61%, this must be one of the whisky which I have tried that has most alcohol in it. Amazing how good it works even without water! Quite oily and has a light colour, like hay. Bitter and sweet and fruitiness. John Mcdougall thinks it is well balanced with a good finish and long aftertaste.

Box Vatted Malt

This is a vatting of terrific malt whiskies from the recognised distilling regions of Scotland. Bottled at 47% it demonstrates all of the regional characteristics pulling them together in a massively exhilarating mouthfeel. It has lots of toffee flavours, smoky and herby, possessing a good big finish and aftertaste. Perfect for pre dinner and after dinner drinking.

Tullibardine, 19yo, 1989

An extremely well rounded and developed dram from the Highlands. Full of character and complexity at 57.2%. It’s a Refill sherry (Oloroso) and it’s peaty, noses also a little like scorched earth, is spicy and a tad dry. It has a lovely mouth feel and possesses a huge finish and a long lingering aftertaste of marzipan and almond.

The best of the day

I had a great day. Nice people with the same interests. Interesting to hear about the distillery, both the history and the plans for the future. The tastings where fantastic and lots of fun to hear John talk. Hopefully everything will go fine with their plans and that there will be a new festival next year again.

Box Distillery whisky

September 28th, 2011

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