One of the highlights at the 2022 Schwetzinger Whisky Festival was spending time with the folks from Elch Distillery. The setting was inviting, at the Schloss just outside of Heidelberg. I was captivated by Elch’s cheeky Moose mascot, its use of local elements, and its commitment to the spirit’s craft.
Along the way, sampling various whisky wares, I also developed a weakness for their absolutely fabulous range of liqueurs. Can I just say “Eier Elli” – BEST egg liqueur! They also make a mighty fine Gin – yum!
However, the focus is their whisky and experimentations with German peat. That summer, their peaty Torf vom Dorf was my “pick” of the festival!
As a proud Franconian distillery, not so far from Nuremberg, my friends and I had plans to make a weekend trip – check out the distillery, their gasthof, maybe even their nearby “glamping” set-up. We thought perhaps sometime in the summer 2023.
And then we heard the terrible news of their tragic fire in February – destroying the roof. A terrible setback and much effort lies ahead to rebuild. Naturally, our plans to make a summer jaunt were postponed.
Which was why it was so good to have a chance to check in with the fine folks at Elch at The Village 2023 whisky festival in Nurnberg. They shared their hopes to overcome the challenges and launched two new whiskies were featured:
- Torfduett – a new entrant to their core range, matured in 90% ex-bourbon barrels and 10% acacia
- “Neustart“ – a special “reboot” edition at a deliberately higher price to help raise funds to support the rebuild of their brewery and distillery.
My friends sampled several and I just had sniffs of their glasses as it was (alas!) a non-tasting day for me due to dental issues! However, the good folks at Elch took pity, and sent me away from their booth with a wee sample of Torfduett that I decided this fine summery day to crack open!
Elch Torfduett 50.6%
- Nose – Fresh timber and tires, bay leaf, orchard fruits, sweet spices of clove and cinnamon bark, a hint of toffee, and a whiff of vanilla pod
- Palate – The peat is more subtle than anticipated, like warm embers rather than a raging forest fire, yet still firmly there, chased by light-baked fruits – mostly pear with green apples too.
- Finish – Lovely and lingering with a hint of chilies
- Water – Yes, please! Brings out a delightful cinnamon spice and everything nice
There is something quite “fresh” and green about this one. And a nice new addition to their range – well done!
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