Showing posts with label Locher Distillery. Show all posts
Showing posts with label Locher Distillery. Show all posts

Santis Malt Edition Dreifaltigkeit CS Peated Review

Country: Switzerland
Brand: Santis Malt Edition Dreifaltigkeit  (Cask Strength Peated)
Type: Appenzeller Single Malt Whisky
Age: NAS (I would guess 3-5 years)
ABV: 52%
Date: 11/05/2013

Colour: Dark Ale

Nose: Smoked Ham! Did you ever visit a German Butcher Shop in a small country village? If you did, you know what I'm trying to express here! There's Peat as well but it's completely different from the Islay variety. It's more like Cold Charred Oak. I also get German " Rauchbier", a dark beer with a distinct Smoked Ham taste and on top of that German Dark Sour Bread. It's almost a Schwarzwalder Schinkenplatte, a plate of Black Forest Ham and Dark Bread. After half an hour or so the Smoke lifts a bit and I get some Malt, Red Fruit, Caramel, Aniseed, light Medicinal tones and Wood Spice. It sure does not smell like your regular Speysider but it's a very interesting experiment!

Taste: The Smoked Ham continues and is accompanied by Sweet Barley, Dark Red Fruits, Herbs, Pepper, Caramel and Dark Ale.

Finish: Quite lasting with some slightly bitter Oak, Cooked Red Fruits and of course the Smoked Ham! 

I added a few drops of Water and the Smoked Ham gets the more refined aroma of sliced Black Forest Ham of superior quality. A bit of Caramel and Sweet Barley as well. The Palate and Finish get more of the Cooked Red Fruit. You can certainly play with a bit of Water here.

Rating: 85.5
Nose: 21.5 - Taste: 21.5  - Finish: 21- Overall: 21.5

General Remarks: The Brewery in Appenzell (Switzerland) produces beer since around 1830 and was purchased by the Locher Family in 1886. Today they produce a wide range of beers, with or without Alcohol. In 1999 the Brewery started distilling whisky that was presented to the market for the first time in 2002. The Dreifaltigkeit uses water from the Alpstein Mountains and Peat from the Upland Moor. It matured in used Very Old Oak Beer Casks that were smoked with Oak Wood again. The Malted Barley was smoked twice over. Four expressions are named after Alpstein Mountain formations. They are Santis, Sigel, Dreifaltigkeit and Marwees. The Dreifaltigkeit is priced at around 75 US Dollars.

Drinking Experience Neat:  Very Different but Good. An experiment you're not likely to forget.   

Conclusion: This is amazing stuff. Quite an experiment! Certainly not your daily to-go-to whisky but it's worthwhile to give it a try. Even if it's only once in your life. This is probably a very young spirit but the combination of the very old (60-130 years) charred Beer Casks and the local Peat makes this a very powerful whisky. It makes you wonder what would happen to this spirit if it was allowed to mature for 12 years or so!

Jan van den Ende                                                                        May, 2013

Santis Malt Edition Cask 1130 Review

Country: Switzerland
Brand: Santis Malt Edition Cask 1130
Type: Appenzeller Single Malt Whisky
Age: 8 Years
ABV: 64%
Date: 20/12/2012

Colour: Dark Amber

Nose: The Cask Strength guarantees a strong Nose. There is quite some Alcohol there so give the dram time to relax and open up. After a while I get a very agreeable combination of Fruity - and Grassy tones. It's comparable to the Edition Germany but more sophisticated. I recognise Red Grapes, Plums, Straw, Wood, Malt, Caramel, Honey, Vanilla, Bourbon and Buttered Toast. This could have been bottled at a slightly lower ABV of around 50% in my opinion. But if you like strong Bourbons such as Knob Creek Small Batch 9 or Noah's Mill 15 you will love this Nose.

Taste: Strong Delivery as could be expected with Sweet Malt, Red Fruits, Caramel, Straw, Honey, Plums and Wood (Spices). A hint of Cocoa Powder. Palate and Finish of the Cask 1130 are significantly better than the (already very nice) Edition Germany.

Finish: Very pleasant and quite long with Red Fruit, Red Wine, Caramel, Plum Liqueur and Honey.

I added a few drops of Water and the Alcohol is of course subdued. The characteristics of the Nose do not change dramatically however although Caramel and Honey present themselves even more clearly. On the Palate the Red Wine notes and Spices become more dominant. You can certainly add a bit of water to this whisky. Personally I would prefer to Nose and Sip it neat as the various flavour components are nicely balanced that way.

Rating:  87.5  
Nose: 22.5 - Taste: 21 - Finish: 22 - Overall: 22

General Remarks: Cask 1130 is a special bottling of the Locher Distillery. Only 450 bottles of 500 ml were extracted from this old Pinot Noir Cask. Bottling took place on September 21, 2011 at a Cask Strength of 64%. This can't be a cheap whisky of course and bottles are sold at around 150 US Dollars. This whisky is only for sale at the Visitor Centre of the Distillery in Appenzell, Switzerland. It's Non Chill-Filtered and no E-150 was added.

Drinking Experience Neat: Very Good

Conclusion: This is an excellent and well-crafted whisky, no doubt about that. Some people might find it a bit on the strong side with an ABV of 64%. But the Pinot Noir Cask obviously was of excellent quality. The Red Grapes and Plums combine very nicely with the Sweet Barley, Honey and Bourbon-like Vanilla. The Finish is very pleasant and long-lasting. The Cask 1130 scored high in Blind Tasting sessions and deservedly so. I certainly hope that the Locher Distillery will take it from here and surprise us in the future with other well crafted, sufficiently matured and nicely finished Single Malts. 

Jan van den Ende                                                                   December 2012

Santis/Abhainn Dearg Viking Review

Country: Switzerland/Scotland
Brand: Santis Malt/Abhainn Dearg Edition Viking
Type: Blended Single Malt
Age: NAS (Probably between 3-5 Years)
ABV: 48%
Date: 20/11/2012

Colour: Pale Straw

Nose: Crisp Nose of a young Malt Whisky with Malt, Anise, Lemon, Grass, Oak, Brown Sugar, Dried Apricots, Orange Peel, Butter and hints of Varnish, Underberg and Apple Pie.

Taste:  Sweet Malt, Anise, Orange, Spices, Oak, Vanilla, Plastic (Slight) and a Salty note. Despite the 48%, the Alcohol is never too present.

Finish: Middle-Long with Pepper, Cloves, Orange, Light Spices, Nuts and Oak. Dry and slightly Metallic towards the end.

I added a few drops of Water and you get more Malt, Apricot, Peach and Buttered Toast on the Nose. But Palate and Finish do not benefit from the added Water. So my advise would be to nose the Viking both neat and with a couple of drops of water but to sip it neat.

Rating: 80.5 (out of 100)
Nose:  21.5 - Taste: 20 - Finish: 19 - Overall: 20

General Remarks: The Viking is a Private Bottling prepared by order of Detlef Sommer by the Locher Distillery in Appenzell, Switzerland. It's a Blend of two Single Malts, one distilled by the Locher Distillery and one by the Abhainn Dearg Distillery. Its probably the first marriage between a Scottish - and a Swiss Single Malt. The Viking will be officially introduced on the Whisky ship Zurich event to be held from November 28 until December 2, 2012. Only 250 bottles of this vatted Malt will be available.
The reason for this special Blend is the book "Viking" written by Detlef Sommer under the pseudonym Ted Lindsay that was released earlier this year. The book is a mixture of history and fiction and is situated in Switzerland and on the Outer Hebrides, the Island chain off the Scottish West Coast. Part of the history of the book takes place near the Red River Bay on the Isle of Lewis. The Abhainn Dearg (Red River) Distillery can be found here. It's the most westerly Scottish Distillery. Abhainn Dearg is a small and very young Distillery that started producing in 2009. Thus the idea to Blend the two Single Malts was born. This can not be anything else than a very young whisky of course. The Scottish part matured in Ex-Bourbon Casks for a likely three years and the Swiss part in Old Oak Beer Casks, probably for 3 to 5 years. No added colour. Non Chill Filtered.

Drinking Experience Neat: Good

Conclusion: I am not yet familiar with the young spirit of the Abhainn Dearg Distillery. But I believe it brings the American Oak and the Salty Notes to this Blend. On the Swiss side it's easy to recognise the characteristics of the Sigel- Santis Editions. The Nose is clearly the best part of the Viking. The Palate shows promise but still bears the characteristics of a young Whisky. I would really be interested to know how this combination would have worked out after a longer period of maturation. Who knows what might happen in the future! In the meantime the Viking is a great initiative. I'm sure that young distilleries from all over the world would benefit from projects like this!

 Jan van den Ende                                                          November 2012

The Abhainn Dearg Distillery