St Kilian Part 1 – A promising start…

St Kilian is one of the newer distilleries in Bavaria… I had the great pleasure to meet with a couple of folks from there together with a fellow German Sharing Angel at Nurnberg’s The Village Whisky Festival in February 2020.

Fast forward to November 2020 and there were plans to visit the distillery. I was incredibly excited to spend a weekend learning about the distillery, their processes, ideas and overall approach to whisky making.

Alas as fall progressed into winter, COVID conditions deteriorated and the trip was cancelled. However very kindly, the folks at St Kilian dispatched samples and set-up a virtual tasting. Unfortunately the samples reached me late and I also missed the virtual session too.

However, I remained very curious so on a weekend with fellow whisky enthusiasts, we cracked open the 6 bottles, split each sample into 3 and we started to explore…

1st Sample – Bursting with flavours

  • Nose – Vanilla, fruity, creamy toffee, nice bourbon cream pie… then shifted to something more herbal, vegetal with ripe tomatoes, celery… then balsam fir
  • Palate – Creamy, fruity apple, dried plums, quince, a bit raw but still interesting
  • Finish – A bit of bitter almond?

Young, till a bit fiery, scrappy… and frankly quite a promising start.

We returned after some time and it had ten on almost an artificial sweetness, candy floss and vanilla on the nose but then a biting spice on the palate with a bitter nutty finish.

2nd Sample – Tasty treat

  • Nose – Very fruity, starts with overripe bananas, then shifts into hazelnuts, back to bannoffee pie, then the nutty quality became stronger and stronger with cashew, pecan nuts adding to the hazelnut, vacillating between roasted nuts and raw nuts freshly plucked from their tree, vanilla pod, fresh resin
  • Palate – Spicy yet nothing in the slightest bit harsh! Has more substance than expected from the aroma, fuller, incredibly tasty
  • Finish – Sweet spices of cinnamon, cloves, lightly bitter

We really liked this one – it had character and remained enjoyable. Even after we set it aside for some time and returned, it was bubblegum, wintergreen oil and still delicious.

3rd Sample – Tropical punch

  • Nose – Oh my! Tropical fruits – pineapple, mango… cinnamon red candies.. very prominent banana, a hint of rubber, overall sweet with a hint of alcohol, vanilla cream, a bit of roasted chestnut, candle wax, soooo sweet… then had a hint that was almost like a bandaid adhesive 
  • Palate – Initially the bananas on the nose carried through on the palate, a hint of smoke, raw chestnut, green walnut, became sweeter and sweeter
  • Finish – Strong cinnamon finish

The colour of this last dram was quite significantly darker than the others. What was curious was the smoke. It was more like the kind of smoke that settles on the walls of a room that had someone smoke in long before rather than anything direct. 

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