New world whisky specialists Cask World recently announced the arrival of 34 casks from the renowned BOX Distillery. The UK-based whisky brokerage made history successfully shipping the largest single consignment of rare whisky casks from Sweden to Britain. The thousands of litres of premium single malt valued at approximately £1.2m now continues to mature in its new English home.
The shipment is significant in showing that trade with the EU can still be buoyant in the post-Brexit pandemic era. It also exemplifies growing global interest in non-Scotch whisky, with the spirit now increasingly in-bound to UK shores. Cask World has positioned itself as a pioneer of the new world whisky movement (whisky from countries not traditionally associated with whisky production). As a division of Rosewin Holdings PLC, this acquisition adds to their rapidly growing new world portfolio. The company is proud to lay these barrels down alongside some of the incredible whiskies produced on all continents.
The pedigree and rarity of this shipment should not be under-estimated. A forerunner of the current Swedish whisky boom and renowned for its vision to be the first green whisky producer, BOX quickly gained recognition for the quality of its spirit. It uses pristine local spring water, excellent Swedish barley, and ultra-clean air. Additionally, the high-temperature fluctuations between summer and winter in the region cause unique interactions between the maturing liquid and the wood. All these elements combine to give amazing depth and character to the BOX final product.
The eldest barrels to have made the journey across the North Sea are just turning a decade old, with all of the 34 having been filled between 2011-2015. Believed to be some of the final remaining stock filled under the BOX name (the producer changed to ‘High Coast’ in 2018), they could therefore be the last in existence to bear the ‘Distilled at BOX Distillery, Sweden’ labe when eventually bottled.
Currently ranging from six to ten years old, this cask collection contains a broad array of exciting cask/spirit combinations. Cask World’s founder Daniel Monk said: “This is a true box of delights – we’ve got wood ranging from virgin American, German, French, and Swedish Oak through to ex-sherry, bourbon, port, Madeira, and even an ex-Laphroaig cask! And those barrels feature toasting and charring levels across the entire spectrum from light through to high mocha. Twenty-three of the casks hold unpeated, and 11 hold peated whisky. This collection is a perfect microcosm of the wonderful variation and innovation we are now witnessing in the global whisky scene.”
BOX started producing in 2011, with its first offerings to the domestic market in 2014. The Swedes, a nation of discerning whisky lovers, reportedly snapped up the 11 500 bottles in minutes. A similar story ensued for all the distillery’s subsequent releases. Their slightly longer aged – up to six years old – and independent bottlings regularly achieve price points well above £100. Indeed, High Coast has recently released their inaugural 10-year-old bottling to the Swedish market – evidently using spirit distilled early in the BOX days – with a recommended retail price of £136 (SEK1650).
The above prices seem well justified, with the distillery winning a plethora of international awards under both the BOX and High Coast brands. These include the Best Swedish Single Malt for The Festival in 2017 and The Second Step Collection 01 in 2018 at the World Whiskies Awards.
Their High Coast 63 (5 years old, £100) was awarded 91% by Whisky Saga with the comment, “Liquid magic from the wizards of the High Coast, this is how you do it!” To put this into perspective, Macallan’s Sherry Oak is 18 years old (£300) and scored 86%, with Highland Park’s 21 years old (£210) achieving 89%.
The BOX casks are now resting in the English warehouse alongside other premium single malts and are all well-aged, with many ready for bottling. Cask World plans to release a quantity of them over the coming months, and interested parties can contact them to learn more via firstname.lastname@example.org.