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Issue 99 - Out of the Box

Whisky Magazine Issue 99
October 2011

 

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Out of the Box

Gavin D. Smith looks at the latest Swedish distilling adventure.

Sweden is known as a country which takes its whisky seriously, and is already becoming internationally recognised among whisky connoisseurs courtesy of Mackmyra distillery, established at Valbo in 1999, while a number of more recent, small-scale ventures have also been developed.

For many whisky-lovers in Scandinavia and beyond, however, the opening of Box distillery in November 2010 was a real landmark, coming after the project had been in the pipeline for several years, with an unsympathetic economic climate holding up progress for some time.

The Box venture is based around the Box Power Plant building, constructed in 1912, in the heart of the Adalen region in Southern Sweden, and Scotch whisky industry veteran John McDougall has acted as lead consultant to the project.

“The distillery plan came about because a group of businessmen wanted to do something for their local area,” says MacDougall, who has spent almost half a century working in the Scotch whisky industry, managing Balvenie, Laphroaig and Springbank distilleries along the way and cowriting one of the first ‘insider' volumes about life in the world of whisky-making under the title Worts, Worms & Washbacks.

"Adalen was a major centre for sawmills until the 1950s,” adds MacDougall, “but what was once a prosperous place subsequently became run down. The distillery building is in the former power house that drove all the saws. The sawn timber was made into box boards for the English market at the end of ...

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