In August 2016 the Swedish distillery Box launched this 4 year old malt in her 2nd Step Collection. It is a mix of bourbon casks (48%) and first fill oloroso casks (52%). Just like the Explorer, a half-liter bottle will set you back 80 EUR, which is prohibitively expensive for what you get.
Dark and sweet nose on rotting wood. Sounds awful, but kinda works in this case. Add some brown sugar as well as molded wood. There is also a big herbal side. Ferns, nettles, the sap of roots. A bit special, but not unpleasant. In the distance, I do get a touch of rubber that I do not fancy.
The body is rather light (almost watery in fact). Very sweet on apples, pears, lemon and lime juice. Ginger and liquorice. I find myself pulling faces, which is not a good sign. It has a peaty edge, meaning this one also is a mix of peated and unpeated barley. But the balance is off. It is somewhat raw and unpolished, if you know what I mean. The flavors don’t do each other any favors (note to self: you are not a poet).
The finish is medium long, drying, smoky and sweet, but does make me long for a glass of water.
A rough Swede, if you ask me. Quite special on the nose for which I gladly gave it the benefit of the doubt. But on the palate and finish, there was doubt no more. Not my cuppa.