Box Distillery has released two whiskies in their new series Quercus wherein they try to explore the tastes that different species of oak gives to the whisky. The first edition is named Robur after the European Oak (pedunculate oak), Quercus robur in Latin. I have tasted the second one:
The second edition is named Alba after the American White Oak, Quercus alba in Latin. Quercus alba is common in eastern and central North America where it is widely used in the whiskey- and wine industry. Quercus alba contains lower levels of tannins and higher levels of lactones (coconut flavor) compared to the European oak species.
You can read all about the whisky here, but here are some facts:
100 % unpeated whisky that first has been matured in 140-litres bourbon cask for 5.1 years and in 200-litres bourbon casks for 3 and 4.1 years and then finished for 2.7, 1.02 and 0.83 years in 40- and 96 litres casks of virgin Quercus alba.
It is bottled at 50,8 ABV.
Fresh and “green” on the nose. Freshly cut grass, basil, thyme and eucalyptus. Lemon peel. Quite cold. Sweet and oaky on the palate. Vanilla, white pepper and ginger, like a spicy ginger beer. To me it is a typical mix of notes from the bourbon casks and the virgin oak casks. The finish is mostly vanilla and oak. Peppery and spicy. It lingers. Not a complex whisky, but very clean.
My score: nose 20 / taste 22 / finish 20 / balance 21 = 83
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