This is a bit of an odd one. It’s a whisky from Switzerland that has been peated and aged in beer casks. This is made by the Locher Brewery, which explains their choice of casks. Quite a few breweries have been making the move into distilling in the last decade or so and I saw quite a bit of this when I was in Germany this past September (because you can’t spit in Germany without hitting a brewery so it was kind of hard to miss).
I remain skeptical about craft distilleries. While some are very good, some are just hopping on the bandwagon and will put out anything that trickles out of their stills and spent a little time in a barrel. As long as they have trendy or rustic packaging they seem to get rave reviews from certain hat-wearing “authorities” and then sell their wares to buyers who will probably never open the bottles for crazy prices. Pardon my pessimism but I’ve been burned several times.
Let’s see how this one stands up to the test.
No Age Statement. 52%ABV. Aged in beer casks.
Nose: Smoked meat. Hickory smoke. Charcoal. There is a bit of a woody beer note. Latakia tobacco. Wet leaves, maybe mulch. Bit of an off-putting plasticy, chemical note.
Palate: Coal dust. So much coal dust. Then some glazed meats. More Latakia. And that not so nice plastic note is back again. And then it kind of fizzles out on the swallow.
Finish: Long, but weak. Waves of coal dust and hickory smoke, but still can’t shake that gross plastic note, it actually just gets worse, transforming a little bit into baby puke.
Would I buy this: No
Would I order this in a bar: No
Would I drink this if someone gave me a glass: No
I had such high hopes for this one. The plastic note was a mild irritant on the nose, which was not super complex, but full of smells I really like (meat, braai, yum). Things started taking a bit of a dive on the palate and then with the finish it just crashed and burned. Too bad, this profile has potential.