Celebrating 30+ European whiskies!

In the grand scheme of things, trying 30 whiskies is no big deal.

But when you live in India and those happen to be European whiskies… it is an accomplishment!

Let’s face it, exploring the world of whiskies behind a crazy custom’s “curtain” that restricts access not just bringing into India but state by state… means relying on individuals making an effort to source directly from far-flung lands rather than simply strolling over to a corner liquor store.

Hence it is indeed a celebration – with thanks – to share a summary of European samples! Now… just providing a list alone isn’t fun.. so with each, I’ve shared a fleeting impression so you can see what might peak your interest to read more…

European Whiskies  

Many of the Nordic whiskies came compliments of 

The Europe page is continuously updated as we explore more whiskies, so feel free to check back anytime to read of more!

PS – Anyone spot the ‘malted spirit’ rather than proper whisky??

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European Tour – Slyrs 51 NAS 51%

Last in our Whisky Ladies European tour was a surprise bonus whisky from Germany!

The genesis of Slyrs distillery was apparently a bet for a crate of Bavarian wheat beer. After more than a few whiskies shared somewhere in the Speyside region of Scotland, Florian Stetter (former Master Distiller of Lantenhammer Distillery) bet that he would create a Bavarian whisky. Distilling since 1999, the 1st whisky was launched in 2002 and remains in full production in Neuhaus, now under the management of Florian’s brother Anton Stetter.

The name “Slyrs 51” literally refers to the alcohol strength of this expression – bottled at 51%. Launched in October 2015, Slyrs 51 is considered as the “big brother” of their single malts.

This bottle was sourced by a new Whisky Ladies of Mumbai member from her trip to Bavaria and may be difficult to obtain outside of Germany.

And what did we think? Read on…

2016-06-28 Slyrs 51

Slyrs 51 NAS (Lot 3453) 51%

  • Colour – Rich amber
  • Nose – Musty, quite bold yet oddly soft, sweet, sense of being quite syrupy, a bit of banana, hint of spicy chocolate
  • Palate – Much more powerful than nose indicated.. initially quite intense, sweet and bitter both with the bitterness taking on increasingly a nutty quality, some spices, then begins to settle in and becomes buttery
  • Finish – Banana walnut bitter
  • Water – Cries out for a generous dollop of water… No delicate drops will do here! And with water? Out came a yummy caramel aroma and once the spice settled, enveloped our Whisky Ladies with a warm sweetly bitter dram.

Of all the four European whiskies, this was the most direct and ‘in your face’. The very literal approach to the name was a fairly good indication that there would be few flourishes and flounces, just a solid linear whisky with strength.

Slyrs 51 is apparently made from malt from northern Bavaria, using a longer fermentation process, casking at a lower strength and matured in a mix of new American oak and ex sherry port and sauternes casks.

Here’s what the folks over at Slyrs have to say about their whisky (roughly translated).

  • Colour: Golden brown
  • Odour: Strong dark wood and malted barley
  • Taste: Full-bodied, malty-aromatic, complex aromas reminiscent of vanilla and hay
  • Finish: Long and intense, spicy notes

For more information, check out this article in WhiskyConnosr: Slyrs – Whisky’s best kept secret by Dominic Roskrow

There is also a interesting review by Benedikt Luening on Whisky.com: Slyrs 51.

Other whiskies sampled during our European tour included:

Overall we closed the evening feeling rather privileged to enjoy four such distinctive European whiskies during a Mumbai monsoon!

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Whisky Ladies European Tour – Teerenpeli, Danica, Kornog + Slyrs

In the wake of the Brexit vote, the Whisky Ladies of Mumbai decided to go on a European whisky tour featuring:

2016-06-28 European Tour

The Teerenpeli Finnish whisky was a recent acquisition from my trip to London – recommended by the folks over at the Whisky Exchange and a rather fine addition to our evening.

The Brauntstein Danica‘s was snagged as the only Danish whisky available at Copenhagen airport!

The Kornog from France has been eagerly awaited! Special request ordered by one of our whisky lady’s prompted by my curiosity after sampling a cask strength version.

A complete bonus on announcing June’s theme was the addition of a 4th European whisky from Bavaria, Germany. I mean, who else in Mumbai other than a “Whisky Lady” just so happens to have a bottle of Slyrs 51 sitting in their whisky cabinet??

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