Slyrs Fifty One Review

Country: Germany
Region: Bavaria
Brand: Slyrs Fifty-One
Type: Single Malt Whisky 
Age: NAS
ABV: 51%
Chill-Filtration: No
Whisky Review # 553

Colour: Golden with a touch of Light-Brown (Natural Colour)

Nose: At first I get a strange Aroma that reminds me of Cooked Vegetables. It is important to give this Slyrs enough time in the Glass as this rather weird Aroma tends to diminish over time. The (fortified) Wine casks are certainly noticeable. Next to the Veggies, I find Malted Barley, Butterkekse (German Butter Biscuits), Vanilla, Straw, Fresh Oak, Plums, Grapes, Pear, Unripe Apricots, Raisins, Dried Herbs and a touch of (Milk) Chocolate. It´s Sweet but not in an annoying way. It is still a relatively Young Whisky and the Alcohol is not fully integrated. Like many West-European Whiskies it feels like a hybrid between Whisky and Fruit Liqueur.

Palate: Strong and Sweet Delivery with Spices and a light Bitterness. The Youth and Alcohol are more noticeable when compared to the Nose. I find Toasted Malt, Vanilla, New Oak, Nut Shells, Straw, slightly Bitter Orange, Plums, Grapes, Dried Fruit, Dried Herbs, Dark Chocolate, Pepper, Cardamom, Nutmeg and Cloves. 

Finish: Middle-Long, Spicy and Bitter-Sweet. Dry towards the end. I also find a light Plastic-like Off-Note. Besides that I get Toasted Malt, Oak, Plums, Bitter Citrus, Pepper, Cloves and a little Dark Chocolate. For me it´s the better part of this Slyrs.

I added a little Water and the Alcohol naturally retreats. Vanilla, Barley and Butter Biscuits take control and some of the Aromas and Flavours are lost. Better sip it neat.

Rating: 77.5

Nose: 19 - Taste: 19 - Finish: 20 - Overall: 19.5

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 name Fifty-One refers to the ABV of this Slyrs Expression. It is made by combining various Ex-Bourbon casks. Part of this Blend is then finished in a mixture of Ex-Sherry, Ex-Port and Ex-Sauternes Casks. The price of this Slyrs varies a lot from place to place but usually lies in the 40-60 Euro range.

Drinking Experience Neat: A little disappointing on account of some Off-Notes.

Conclusion: Earlier I tasted the standard Slyrs 2009 and 2011 expressions. I liked both better than this Fifty-One expression although I found the Cooked Vegetables note in the 2009 as well. But the 2009 and 2011 were young, vibrant and promising when given time to mature a bit more. The Fifty-One on the other hand, while not bad and more complex, feels a bit tired and heavy. If you generally like (Red)Wine finished Whisky or Port Wine you might give this Slyrs expression a chance. Personally I prefer the regular Slyrs expressions over this Fifty-One. 

Jan van den Ende                                                                 August 15, 2016

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