Don’t Mention The War!

Taste Review #130 – TBWC – Slyrs Batch 3

What is the first thing you think of when you think of the Germans?

It’s unfortunate that most people think of the Second World War, but Germany is much more than that. You can’t tar them all with the same brush because one Austrian goes mental and tries to take over Europe. I’ve just finished working with a German supervisor and on the one night we had nothing to do, it was suggested that we watch a movie. I had asked my colleague what he fancied watching, adding “I bet you don’t want to watch a war movie!” I was right. I followed it up a couple of days later by replying when asked what was happening that day “I don’t know – I was thinking of invading Poland.” Yes, the Germans aren’t known for their sense of humour, but this is a mistaken stereotype. So is the idea that Germans don’t have a word for fluffy; they just don’t use it much.

I like Germany. Nearly every German I’ve met has been very friendly and extremely hospitable. The country has many really beautiful sights and it’s unfortunate that many fixate on something that happened in the last century. It truly is worth going out and about and seeing what surprises Germany has to offer.


Less than an hour south of Munich. On the autobahn to Garmisch-Partenkirchen. Makes the Cairngorms look like molehills.

You might also be amazed to find out that Germany has more distilleries than the UK. It surprised me to find out that Germany has some 29,000 distilleries. Most of these distilleries produce fruit spirits, but they surprisingly have more whisky distilleries than Scotland. There are up to 800 dealing with whisky in Germany, far surpassing the Scottish total, though according to deutschland.de, 130 of these are expressly whisky distilleries, slightly short of the Scottish number.

I’ve always been tempted to try whisky made in Germany, but haven’t been able to get a full sized bottle, as well as not wanting to risk the money on something I may not like without trying first. Thankfully Drinks By The Dram have come to the rescue and I’ve been able to get a mini of German whisky, this being from the Slyrs Distillery and bottled by That Boutique-y Whisky Company.

The Slyrs Distillery is based in Bavaria, to the south east of Munich in a town called Schliersee Neuhaus, and is owned by the Stetter family who have a connection to the Lantenhammer distillery to the north in Hausham. This is due to the marriage of Anneliese Lantenhammer and Sigfried Stetter. It was their son, Florian Stetter who founded the Slyrs distillery. He had joined the Lantenhammer distillery in 1985. The distillery made brandy, but it was during a study trip to Scotland in 1994, had noticed similarities with his home in Bavaria – Mountains, fresh spring water and clean air. He felt that it would be possible to produce a whisky in Bavaria.

Florian had bet his friends a crate of beer that he could distill a Bavarian whisky and by 1999 his dream had been realised and the first whisky had been distilled. The result was a release of 1600 bottles of whisky in 2002. It wasn’t until 2007 that the Slyrs distillery was completed and a mountain store warehouse was completed on Mount Stümpfling.

Nobody I know personally has tried a German whisky, other than people I have met online through my blog and social media interactions, so I thought it best to just go ahead and try for myself.



TBWC Slyrs Batch 3

Region – Germany Age -3 y.o Strength – 52.6% Colour – Russet (1.3) Cask Type -American Oak, Crocodile char Colouring – No Chill Filtered – No Nose – Apricot jam, vanilla, fresh croissants, mandarin peel, coconut. Palate – Sweet arrival, honey, coconut, butterscotch, orchard fruit – possibly pear slightly nutty note too. Finish – Still a bit sweet but hot on departure. Honey with peppery heat, Sichuan peppers possibly. Sense a wee bit of the char coming through. Honey



Conclusions

I have to say that I have enjoyed this whisky. Despite being at what I suspect is an undiluted cask strength, it was an extremely easy drinker. It was on the fruity side with a funk to the nose, but sweetness continued throughout the dram, with various flavours coming through, with no note particularly overpowering any other.

There was a bit of heat that started in the mid palate which continued through to the finish and didn’t overpower the sweetness. All in all quite pleasant. Water subdued the heat a bit and allowed the honey to show on the finish which was of mid to long length.

This is still available at the Master of Malt Website for £74.95. I won’t be buying one right now, but would recommend if anybody was thinking of trying a German whisky, then this is one I’d recommend to try. It won’t be around forever, as only 395 bottles were produced, but I’d imagine TBWC will have more casks in waiting. If you want to dip your toe in before you commit to a whole bottle, 3cl samples are available for £6.90.

Yours In Spirits.

Scotty

Index of tastings here

Index of articles here


Photo Credits

All Photos – Authors Own

6 thoughts on “Don’t Mention The War!

  1. I agree, Germany is a great place, I had an amazing holiday to Munich a couple of decades ago now. There was so much to see and do, I fitted in some culture, a trip to the Olympiastadion to see Bayern play, a walk in the Alps and, of course, lots of beer drinking!

    I haven’t tried German whisky though I would have thought grain would be more up their street than malt, it’s more efficient after all! Jesting aside, I see that’s a 50cl bottle, which would make it £105 per 70cl. Quite a lot for a three year old whisky, so would you have this over a Daftmill?

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    1. I’m not convinced Daftmill is all that it is cracked up to be. The 2006 winter one I had was good, but nothing special. I’ve had a lot better.

      If we disregarded the age statement, which can be a red herring as it only discloses the youngest cask in the marriage and not the volume, I’d say this would be be the equal of a Daftmill at RRP.

      Certainly Daftmill at secondary market prices isn’t worth it.

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      1. To be fair, Francis Cuthbert is open about that, it’s a boutique operation so the economies of scale dictate a super-premium price tag. And, yes, the auction prices are crazy. He’s modest but, ignoring prices, I do rate the stuff, it’s a classic light, floral Lowlander and I like that style.
        I usually struggle with anything under 7/8 years old, that heat you mention and usually bready/yeasty notes, but I try to keep an open mind.

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  2. I’ve stopped really paying too close an attention to age statements in whisky under 12 years, as the chances of them having 3 year old spirit in them is high. Peated whiskies seem to get away with the younger age statement more easily.

    Having said that, the Allt Dour and Glenrothes CS I had reviewed over a year ago were only 8 and were easily one of the most delicious drams I had in a long while.

    Conversely, the last Tomatin 18 I had was poor.

    I’m more looking to cask type now rather than length of maturation though I will admit I’ve had some awful young whiskies. Dream to Dram from Kingsbarns and Finlaggan spring to mind.

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