Tag Archives: Single Malt Whisky

G for German Whisky

World Whisky Day is fast approaching on Saturday the 19th May 2018.

As part of the build up I’m featuring a series of blogs – both old and new – over the next month focusing on a country from each letter of the alphabet – if possible – that makes whisky.

Today is G for German Whisky.

 

GERMAN WHISKY – DAS IST GUT

Germany is not a country usually associated with whisky manufacture. They do love their whiskies however – and it is one of the top export countries for both Irish whiskey and Scottish whisky companies.

Germany also has a long tradition of distilling – mainly schnapps – but is increasingly turning to whisky.

Germany – shockingly – according to my research – has more whisky distilleries at 250 than Scotland with 115!

Sometimes it comes down to numbers.

So when a friend invited us over to Berlin last weekend – I made it my goal to sample some of the expressions emanating from these German distilleries – I must say – I was very impressed!

Wein und Spirituosen Center Tegel c/o Whiskey Nut
Wein und Spirituosen Center Tegel c/o Whiskey Nut

My first port of call was to the very extensively stocked Wein Und Spirituosen Center at Tegel – a handy 5 minute walk from the marvelous public transport network Alt-Tegel U-bahn station.

Very friendly staff guided me through their German Whisky range which included tasting a few samples from bottles the shop already had opened for customers to try.

Glen Els Sherry Cask c/o The Whisky Exchange
Glen Els Sherry Cask c/o The Whisky Exchange

A glass of Glen Els Sherry Cask was tried. Now normally a sherry finish floats my boat – but I found this somewhat lacking – maybe not enough sherry for me?

Slyrs Single Malt c/o Slyrs
Slyrs Single Malt c/o Slyrs

Slyrs Single Malt provided a much more enjoyable experience. Aged in new American White Oak casks this 3 year old gave a lovely woody aroma with a pleasingly smooth taste for it’s youthfulness. No wonder it has gained awards!

Sloupisti Single Malt c/o deutsche-whiskys.de
Sloupisti Single Malt c/o deutsche-whiskys.de

An interesting bottle caught my eye so I requested another sample. The intriguingly named Sloupisti from Spreewalder proved to be an equally fine dram.

Loaded down with my booty I ambled down to Greenwich Parade where The Fisherman’s Restaurant have an outdoor picnic area. I indulged in Fish ‘n’ Chips delightfully overlooking the Tegeler See in the bright sunshine!

Art work and Alexanderplatz from Foreign Office Berlin c/0 Whiskey Nut
Art work and Alexanderplatz from Foreign Office Berlin c/o Whiskey Nut

After meeting up with friends and been shown round the German Foreign Office enjoying fabulous views of Alexander Platz from the balcony – it was off to Berlins only whisky distillery.

Eschenbrau beer garden and pizza hut c/o Whiskey Nut
Eschenbrau beer garden and pizza hut c/o Whiskey Nut

Eshenbrau in Wedding was a fantastic place where many beer and whisky enthusiasts congregate in the outdoor beer garden set in the middle of a housing scheme to enjoy the beverages made only a stone’s throw away. They also served lovely flammkuchen to soak up the alcohol!

A fine range of beers are available all year round with seasonal brews regularly alternating on the menu. They have also started whisky production which I was eager to sample.

Eschenbrenner Whisky c/o Whiskey Nut
Eschenbrenner Whisky c/o Whiskey Nut

The three styles on offer were all a youthful 3 years old;

Pete – aged in American oak,

Charlie – aged in chardonnay casks and

Amber – aged in Spessart German oak for a truly home grown product.

Eschenbrenner Amber Whisky and glass c/o Whiskey Nut
Eschenbrenner Amber Whisky and glass c/o Whiskey Nut

All of them were pleasantly quaffable with a hint of youthfulness but the Amber finally came out tops with rich woody notes and a slightly smoother finish. As the only venue to buy this whisky is at the distillery I duly bought a bottle – as well as the lovely tasting glass.

For whiskey fans Germany has much to offer. The sheer number of whiskey distilleries produce a vast array of styles, finishes and malts that match that of Scotland in terms of taste and quality – although volumes are small by comparison. Independently family owned or craft distilleries are the order of the day supplying local markets so expressions can be hard to track down – but from my experience well worth the effort.

Go on – try a German Whisky – 3 outta of 4 ain’t bad – to mangle a Meatloaf lyric!

Auf wiedersehen

Sláinte

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Garavan’s, Galway.

The minute you walk inside Garavan’s – located on the busy pedestrianised thoroughfare of William St/Shop St in Galway – you realise this pub is something special.

The well worn wooden snugs busily occupied by softly chatting customers – the small bar area dominated by a bewildering array of whiskeys behind it – the discrete TV in the corner with the sound down low to not disrupt the conversation – but not too low for the sports fans gathered around it – the regulars coming in and being served their favourite tipple with ne’r a word being said when a nod to the bartender will suffice.

Yes – this place is the real deal.

And that’s before you even get started on those whiskeys!

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Would you like to taste these? c/othewhiskeynut

Old ComberHewittsDungourney 1964 – old and rare brands each with a different story to tell. I’d only read about them in books and yet here they were all on display – and if you’re willing to pay the price – drink.

My Galway Whiskey Trail adventure plans budget hadn’t anticipated such delights so my drink of choice was much more affordable – one of many third party whiskeys that Cooley distillery produced prior to the Beam takeover in 2012 and which are now increasingly difficult to get hold off – Shanahan’s Single Malt.

Made exclusively for Shanahan’s Steak House in Dublin – it proved to be another of my false starts as the Garavan’s bottle was decidedly empty when retrieved from the shelves!

Ah well – I’m getting used to this – try again with Slane Castle Whiskey from the same source.

Now I’m not talking about the new Slane Castle brand owned by US giants Brown-Forman – I’m talking about the original blend launched by the Connyingham family in 2009.

The reviews didn’t exactly give this expression great acclaim – but I was intrigued and excited enough to order a glass – after all – it is now part of the growing Irish whiskey heritage – even if it’s very recent heritage at that.

A slightly sweet sharpish grainy nose follows through to a similarly light grainy taste offering very little in the way of depth or flavour rounded off with a short finish sums it up.

The reports were true – not much going on here – a fairly standard entry blend no more no less – but I’m glad to have had the opportunity to try it.

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Brian at Garavan’s c/othewhiskeynut

I enquired about tasting trays – and despite seemingly single handedly running the bar – Brian the bartender – as it was himself that was on duty when I visited – very helpfully showed me the delightful wooden platter complete with a pretty little glass water jug and 3 Glencairn glasses – all embossed with Garavan’s logo across them no less – together with an envelope containing the tasting notes of the particular tray you’d selected – there are several available – just shows the attention to detail that explains why Garavan’s are deserving winners of The Best Whiskey Bar In Connacht for 2 years running!

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Garavan’s winning trophy c/othewhiskeynut

The extensive whiskey menu leaves you salivating at all that is on offer.

I could come back again and again to this lovely bar and still not get over all the expressions!

Truly a marvellous spot for any whiskey afficiado.

Sláinte.

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A Drink With The Neighbours

Over the course of the festive season it’s customary in our little street to exchange Christmas cards with the neighbours.

Unlike the Aussie soap of the same name – we do not have affairs with each other nor bicker nor fight – we actually get along just fine and look out for each other.

I was despatched by the better half to drop round some cards one evening. I popped the first few through the letterboxes and was about to do the same with the last one when the door opened.

” Ah hello there, Merry Xmas to ya, I’m just dropping off a card for you.”

” Many thanks, Merry Xmas to yerself, you’ll be having a drink?”

And so I was invited in for a bit of the hard stuff.

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Jameson from Midleton c/o thewhiskeynut

We started off on the ubiquitous Jameson.

A light, smooth mellow blend which is the biggest selling Irish whiskey by far. I learned that this was the drink of choice for some neighbours who always have a bottle at hand.

Conversation flowed as smoothly as the whiskey and on we chatted.

Further whiskeys were produced.

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Clontarf 10 yo Signature Release from Castle Brands c/o thewhiskeynut

A Clontarf 10 Year Old blend care of the local Aldi was politely refused – after all I’d only just finished mine a few weeks before mainly through the medium of hot whiskeys to fend of a cold I’d picked up!

“There is another bottle I have somewhere the lads enjoy drinking”

A well drunk bottle of Dark Rum Finish BenRiach was produced.

BenRiach Dark Rum
BenRiach Drak Rum Finish c/o almada-vini.com

46% non-chill filtered 15 year old single malt – from a well respected Speyside distillery who produce a wide array of wood finished expressions – now this was something to get to grips with.

On the nose the rum was fairly soft – but recognisably there.

On drinking a little – the lovely smooth liquid warmed the mouth leading to a  long gently lingering finish heavily accented by the rum.

Beautiful

” No wonder the lads nearly finished off  this bottle”

We were all set to beat the lads to it when my phone went.

” Where are ya?  2 hours to drop off some cards?  There’s more to be done yet.”

Ah well – it was an enjoyable time. My neighbour also had other engagements to make.

So we had another dram.

Marvelled at the fine taste of the whisky.

Wished each other good health,

and went on our ways.

Slainte

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