Santis Malt Edition Alpstein Review

Country: Switzerland
Brand: Santis Malt (Appenzeller Single Malt)
Type: Edition Alpstein
Age: 5 Years
ABV: 48%
Date: 28/10/2012

Colour: Oloroso Sherry

Nose: The good quality Sherry Cask certainly did its job well. The Sherry is accompanied by Oak, Malt, Wood Spices and Buttered Toast with Fruit Marmalade. Think of Pear, Plum, Blueberries and Peach. There are some Floral tones as well. It would be quite difficult or even impossible to identify this Dram as a Swiss Whisky in a blind tasting. There are some similarities between the Alpstein and Irish Whiskey but I'm sure the Sherry Finish would "confuse" a lot of tasters. And that's a great achievement by a young distillery like Locher! I would be really curious to know what a couple of years more of Wood contact could do to this dram.

Taste: I was expecting lots of Fruit and Butterscotch on the Palate but that's not the case. In fact, the Alpstein is quite Dry and Spicy thanks to the 48% ABV with Malt, Oak, Herbs, Sherry, Licorice and Dried Fruits. 

Finish: Some Fruit returns together with Oak, Caramel, White Pepper and Licorice. Hints of Tea with Stroh Rum that I drank a lot in the late Seventies and early Eighties when skiing in Austria.

I added a few drops of Water and you get More Malt and Fruit on the Nose. Palate and Finish get a bit too spicy as far as I'm concerned but you can certainly experiment with a couple of drops.

Rating:  82.5 
Nose:  22 - Taste:  20 - Finish: 20   - Overall: 20.5

General Remarks: Alpstein is one of the new expressions from the Locher Distillery in Appenzell, Switzerland. The Alpstein matured for three years in Old Oak Beer Casks from the Locher Brewery and was finished for another two years in Sherry Casks. The Alpstein does not contain E-150 Caramel and is Non Chill-Filtered. Of this Edition, only 450 bottles were produced.

Drinking Experience Neat: Good

Conclusion: A very mature whisky from a very young Distillery. The Alpstein has a very pleasant Fruity Nose that can easily compete with Scottish Malt Whisky. Unfortunately, as happens so oft with whiskies, Palate and Finish don't quite live up to the expectations created by the Nose. This is quite understandable as the Alpstein only matured for 5 years. Imagine this dram after 10 years in Old Oak and a 2 year Finish in Quality Sherry Casks. I think a great after dinner dram would emerge. I really cross my fingers for the Locher Distillery. I hope they will get the chance to surprise the whisky world with fully matured Swiss Single Malts.

Jan van den Ende                                                                       October 2012


Whiskycuse said...

Wow, the colour is remarkable considering the short maturing time! Seems they have some good casks in stock.

Jan van den Ende said...

Yes, I completely agree with you, And no caramel is added!