Slyrs 2011 Review

"Give Me Just a Little More Time"

Country: Germany
Region: Bavaria
Brand: Slyrs 2011
Type: Single Malt Whisky 
Age: NAS (3 Years)
ABV: 43 %

Colour: Yellow Gold

Nose: Quite different from your average Scotch Whisky but pleasant none the less. I could imagine that many people would identify it as a Fruit Liqueur in a Blind Tasting event. I find lots of Vanilla from the fresh Oak as well as Plum Jam, Honey, Hazelnuts, Sweet Barley, Straw, Dairy, Brown Sugar and hints of Toast, Varnish, Pineapple and Marzipan. Young, Uncomplicated and Different. I didn't find the Cooked Vegetables note I encountered in the 2009 expression. 

Palate: Young and slightly Edgy with Vanilla, Charred Oak, Honey, Caramel, Alcohol, Brown Sugar and Plums. 

Finish: Middle-Long, Fruity and Sweet with Vanilla, Charred Oak, Sweet Barley, Lemon Peel, light Licorice and Pepper.

Please refrain from adding Water to this Single Malt. You will completely kill the Spirit. 

Rating: 81

Nose: 21 - Taste: 20 - Finish: 20 - Overall: 20 

General Remarks: In 1994 Florian Stetter, a member of the Bavarian Distillery Guild visited Speyside and saw the likeness of the region with Bavaria. So he decided to try and produce a Single Malt Whisky in Bavaria. He started distilling in 1999 at the Fruit Spirits Distillery Lantenhammer. But in 2007, the Slyrs Distillery was opened in the township of Neubach (Schliersee) as part of said Lantenhammer. As of 2011, Slyrs became the largest German Whisky Distillery. The name Slyrs goes back to 779 when five monks founded a monastery near Lake Schlier and called it Slyrs. It is also the name of a locally found green-yellow clay. The Standard Slyrs Single Malt matures for 3 years in new 225 litre American White Oak barrels. The 2011 expression was distilled in 2008 and released in September 2014. The Barley is partially dried with Driftwood. This young whisky is not cheap at an average 50 US Dollars.   

Drinking Experience Neat: Good

Conclusion: I believe you should approach this Spirit with an open mind in order to avoid a direct comparison with a Scottish or Japanese Single Malt. The Slyrs is a hybrid of Whisky and Obstbrand (Fruit Liqueur). It's certainly well-balanced and consistent. If my memory serves me well I found the 2009 a little more Fruity (Peach) while the 2011 is heavy on Vanilla and Honey. That's why I will rate the 2011 slightly lower. Still, Slyrs has proved to be able to produce a product of consistent quality over the last couple of years. I do question their commercial strategy in the long run though. While a Cask Strength and a 12 Year expression exist, Slyrs is mainly focusing on bringing 3 Year old NAS to the market. It is obvious that a 3 year maturation can only rarely result in a very complex end-product. And I could imagine that consumers may grow tired of buying such a young whisky over and over again. Moreover as the Slyrs NAS is quite expensive given its age! I really hope we will be able to enjoy older Slyrs Whiskies in the future as the distillery has shown their ability to distill quality Malt. 

Jan van den Ende                                                                     March 2, 2015

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