There I was in Neumark in der Oberpfalz, having spent a wonderful day exploring… from Schloss Rosenburg, Ruine Rabenstein, Burg Prunn, Wellenburger Kloster to the Danube… True it was cold and snowy. True, everything was shut, so we could only tromp around the outside… but it was still such an invigorating distraction after weeks of being shut in.
That’s one of the remarkable things about the area I now live in Germany – castles and fortresses, ruins and monuments… oh my! There is so much history and such variety in relatively close proximity.
So too is the whisky industry… there are apparently now over 200 whisky distilleries in Germany. Without the guidelines / limitations of the Scottish Whisky Association, quite a bit of experimentation takes place…. often in quite small / micro distilleries.
And on that particular evening in Nuemark, I was introduced to one such new player – Stork Club Whisky from Spreewood Distillers, 60 KM south of Berlin.
So what’s their story? Steffen Lohr, Bastian Heuser and Sebastian Brack apparently were on a road trip in 2015 to buy a barrel of whisky… and found themselves inspired to take over Spreewood Distillers. Dedicated to Rye Whiskey, focusing on small batch, triple cask aged – ex bourbon, ex sherry and ex white wine – using two distillates – malted and unmalted Rye, primarily from the Brandenburg region.
What did we find from this distillery primarily dedicated to Rye?
Stork Single Malt 43%
- Nose – Chestnut, a bit of varnish then settled down, becoming sweeter and sweeter, fruitier, beeswax, honey, almond, a bit of green grapes – the white wine cask influence perhaps?
- Palate – Fresh, fruity, surprisingly creamy, a dash of cinnamon spice… it was a very ‘drinkable dram’ with no harsh notes
We found it was a terrific ‘sipping whisky’…. friendly and easy going yet had enough character that you knew it would also make a great cocktail base.
Talk turned to quintessential “Lufthansa cocktails” famous in the 50s and 60s… pre-mixed and bottled yet served with a certain panache and style. Speculation that this Stork whisky would be terrific in an Old Fashioned or Manhattan… perhaps someone should suggest this to the folks behind reviving these cocktails?
What do the gents behind The Stork have to say about their Single Malt?
- Flavour Profile: Fresh Hay, Honey, Tropical Fruits
- Cask: Ex-Bourbon, Ex-Sherry, Ex-White Wine Cask
- Occassion: One for every evening
- Raw Ingredient: Barley malt
- Beer Accompaniment: Pilsner, Wheat Beer, Pale Beer
Now outside of Germany or perhaps parts of the US fond of a “boilermaker”, listing a ‘beer accompaniment’ for a whisky may frankly seem a little strange. But in a land known for its beer and more recently whisky, why not?
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I visited the distillery last year in July. It’s a fantastic place – and home to some really amazing whiskey! In my opinion, Stork Club is the one German whiskey brand with the biggest potential to make a name for themselves internationally. I predict a very bright future for these guys!
How cool! It certainly seems quite promising and will certainly keep an eye on these folks. Cheers, Carissa
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