St Kilian Signature ‘One’ Bourbon, Rum, Sherry, Bourbon, Chestnut 45%

The “First Drops” of a new distillery are always exciting though sometimes shaky. There is always the temptation to get your inaugural batch “out” yet also it may take a few experiments til you hit your stride.

What about Germany’s St Kilian Distillery? For their 1st batch, they went bold with 18,500 bottles. My first bottle was a treat from the fabulous “Whisky und Frauen” from our time together at The Village – whisky festival in Nurnberg in Feb 2020.

I knew that this was one to share with friends in India. The perfect opportunity arose late October 2021 however whilst the bottle could make its way to Mumbai, I could not. The perfect solution came in acquiring a 2nd bottle for myself in Germany – which is thankfully is still available!

With the “One”, St Kilian describes it as a whisky which is fruit-sweet with notes of tropical fruits and vanilla, matured in an individual composition of excellent barrels (five in total – more on that later!).

And what did we discover in our wee “hybrid” virtual / physical tasting bringing together Nurnberg and Mumbai?

St Kilian Signature Edition ‘One’ (2016/2019) 45% 

  • Colour – Bright caramel
  • Nose – First a bit acetone and sharp, then quickly shifted to heavy honey, Williams pear, mashed bananas, rum and caramel, malt, roasted apple and a touch of fresh grass
  • Palate – Initially a bit sharp, then delicious… Sweet, spice… went down easily, imminently easy to drink. The pear we found on the nose was initially lost on the palate
  • Finish – Wood and malty

We found it tasty and an interesting 1st venture…  as we considered it further we decided to see the impact of a dash of water.

Our conclusion? Well worth  trying that way! It brought balance, fruitier with the wood elements even more pronounced. The finish was even spicier – in a good way.

Overall we quite enjoyed it with water – made it more accessible without diluting the interesting elements – particularly the aromas.

What more do we know? Well the good folks at St Kilian are open about their recipe:

  • 37% ex Bourbon
  • 37% ex Martinique Rum
  • 18% ex PX Sherry
  • 5% Chestnut
  • 3% ex-Bourbon quarter cask

We found the experimentation with different casks worked – particularly after adding a bit of water which brought the influence of each distinct cask into balance.

Here are the official tasting notes:

  • GERUCH Süße Fruchtnoten von Birne, karamellisiertem Apfel und Mango mit sanften Aromen von Malz und Sahnebonbons
  • GESCHMACK Weich und mild-fruchtig, dann eine ausgewogene Würze und ein malziger Abschluss

With a rough translation:

  • Nose – Sweet fruit notes of pear, caramelized apples and mango with gentle aromas of malt and cream candy
  • Taste – Soft and mildly fruity, then a balanced spice and malty finish

An excellent start to our evening exploring whiskies from St Kilian!

What else did I include in my wee St Kilian quartet?

  • Signature Edition ‘Six’ (2016/2020) 47.5% with 45% Rye, 30% late Burgandy, 25% ex Bourbon
  • Signature Edition ‘Four’ (2016/2020) 48% with 51% ex PX Sherry and 49% ex Olorosso Sherry, peated to 54 PPM
  • Signature Edition ‘Seven’ (2017/2021) 51.7% with 73% ex Sherry Olorosso and 27% ex Sherry PX

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