Sweden’s Agitator’s early start

Sometimes the whisky fabric leads to special ‘sneak peaks’ into what is coming on the horizon. When The Box whisky became High Coast and more changes in the Swedish whisky industry happened, it lead to Nordic Whisky Capital… from which Håkan Jarskog became CEO of a new venture – Agitator – together with Distillery Manager  Oskar Bruno. Enter a fellow whisky aficionado from London / Bombay who just so happens to know these folks and a couple of early experiments made their way to us… to finally be opened one fine day in 2022.

Truthfully we just did a light touch exploration however it was enough to get a sense of something rather promising indeed!

Agitator’s 7 months (2018 – 9/27/2019) “Ny am ek” 46%

  • Nose – Custard apple, hay, citrus
  • Palate – Hint of heat, light spice, sweet
  • Finish – Hot

And what happens with a few more months in the barrel – throwing in some Sherry and Peat?

Agitator’s 11 months (2018 – 05/19/2019) “Sherry” 30 ppm 46%

  • Nose – Wow! Clear sherry stamp, a hint of iodine, milky caramel
  • Palate – Smooth, toffee, tobacco peat
  • Finish – Light

A rather good start! Way more going on than one would expect from maturing for under 1 year! I couldn’t wait to see how Agitator is with a couple years in a barrel!

Thankfully, I didn’t need to wait so long… in December 2022, we could experience how Agitor evolved with the bottles brought from Sweden by a lovely Whisky Lady for sampling during our Whisky Ladies of Mumbai session! We tried two core expressions: Single Malt 43% and Rök 43% plus a limited edition small batch expression Argument: Småfat 46%.

Curious to know more about their process and approach? Check out this informative feature in Distiller magazine.

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Nordic Explorer #3 – Sweden’s Box Whisky Shareholders 2016 52%

Our Nordic exploration continued our Swedish journey, shifting from Smögen to Box Distilleri.

Box distillery, is located in Ådalen, in buildings that previously housed a power station and sawmill, previously used to make wooden boxes for England. Like Smögen, it was also founded in 2010 and was founded by two brothers – Per and Mats de Wahl.

Their focus is on using Swedish organically grown barley and their whisky takes advantage of the climate range with its range of hot summers and cold winters. As Hasse Nilsson shared in an interview with Dominick Roskrow in Connosr:

“One of our goals is to be the whisky friends’ and connoisseurs’ distillery. Whisky made by experts for experts is something different than whisky made to be ingredients in big brands blending.”

Sweden - Smogen + Box

Box Whisky Shareholder 2016 3 year 52%

  • Nose – Banana, organic sweet, lots of overripe fruits, some stewed fruits and spice, very fruit sweet…
  • Palate – Pepper spice, subtle smoke, some ginger, a bit bitter, fruit, candied lime sweet
  • Finish – Medium dry
  • Water – Brought out a cologne like quality!

Overall quite minimalist in approach, very fruity on the nose and smoky spice on the palate with a dry finish.

As we read up about the whisky post tasting we were most amused to discover the wee kerfuffle over it originally being intended only for shareholders… then details being leaked so that anyone quick on the draw had access!

As for us? We felt indeed rather fortunate to be part of the rare coterie to try such a dram.

*** Whiskies courtesy of 

For more information on Box whiskies, do read Thomas’ posts on Whisky Saga. Specifically:

More Nordic whisky experiences coming soon!

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