Dear friends, followers, and supporters alike, to my own joy (and hopefully yours) I'm finally back after a long and great summer break! Today I bring you my tasting notes and thought on an upcoming release from swedish distillery High Coast
(formerly known as Box Distillery).
This time around they are releasing the fourth and concluding chapter in the series titled Quercus (maturation in oak of different origins). For this chapter Mongolica oak sets the character (more specifically oak grown in the northeast of China, near the border to Russia).
The whisky has been made from 100% unpeated barley. The new make was matured in 200 litre 1st-fill bourbon barrels for 3,53 years, it was then "finished" for 39 months in 225 litre casks made from mongolica oak. Before bottling, 99 litres of 7,27 years old whisky from a 1st-fill (bourbon) quarter cask was added. Before bottling the whisky was diluted to 50,8% ABV.
Here in Sweden this whisky will be available at the state monopoly tomorrow (190920). 2802 bottles are available (out of 6228). Please view the product by clicking here
Ok folks, let's see how they've managed this time!
On the first nosing, the most apparent thing is a soft vanilla that holds a combination of something kind of wood-y and something kind of spicy/herby (almost drawing on a soft swedish oak-y-ness). Going deeper in the layers I find medium ripe to over ripe banana (the fruit, not the peel), medium dark honey, soft leather, and finally almond paste. In the deepest layer there is something slightly earthy and funky going on; a tad of ”cough medicine”, and fudge ”from the woods” intermingling with a reminiscence of light peatyness.
Starts off on sugar-y sweetness but is immideately interrupted by woody spicyness, tannins, dryness, and just a slight bite from the ABV/alcohol. When keeping the whisky in my mouth for a while, swirling it around for a couple of seconds or so, I percieve this whisky as elegant and well rounded, with a beautiful body filled with vanilla woody-ness and old coffee beans. When swallowing, the woody spicyness evolves more and more and a slightly fire-y side with a lot of energy comes forth, and this phase actually goes on for quite a while. When the aftertaste kicks in, it all ends with dry coffee and leather, being conquered only by the earthy funkyness from the nose.
Some relflections to sum up:
I’ve never really been a huge fan of whisky matured in new oak, especially not swedish oak. With that said, I was a bit worried about this new mongolica oak thing. However, I definitely prefer mongolica oak to swedish oak, and the mongolica seems to have given this whisky the perfect amount of woody and spicy/herby-ness! The question of ”perfect amount” is of course also a question of not letting the whisky mature for too long, so my compliments to the master blender for making the right call! I especially enjoyed the vanilla woody-ness on the taste, and the earthy funky stuff going on in the nose was really interesting and bit different for being High Coast.
Finally, a big thanks to Dave at High Coast Whisky for the great opportunity to review this whisky before its release! For kind of weekly updates please make sure to follow my FB-page by clicking here
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|Pic borrowed from High Coast Whisky|