Säntis Malt Edition Dreifaltigkeit (52%, OB, Old Oak Beer Casks)

End of the line, for now. We finish our short trip in Europe in Switzerland to visit the Locher Brewery in Appenzell. Nothing more interesting than the quest to find Whiskies not from Scotland. Earlier I reviewed the entry-level Edition Säntis, which I found reasonable and showed already some potential. This time around we have quite a different Säntis Malt, which is called Edition Dreifaltigkeit. Dreifaltigkeit has been finished in a Sherry cask but also peated malt was used. Sounds good!

Säntis Malt Edition DreifaltigkeitColor: Vibrant orange brown.

Nose: Heaps and heaps of smoke, yet not a lot of peat (for a peated malt). Lots of fruit, black, red, the lot. Nicely thick, highly aromatic. Lots of fruity esters too. Sherried, meaty and fishy. Smoked sausage and a hint of smoked mackerel. You can name any meat or fish that has been smoked, it seems to be all here. When given some time, and air, an odor of stale beer enters the fold. I have the glass before me and at the same time was reading something, and some less than excellent sour whiffs fly by my nose. The initial fruit was stronger than the stale beer nose, but it seems they are trading places now. Just move the Whisky around a bit in your glass and the off note is gone. Dry and chocolaty notes enter late as well as dry horse manure. What a Malt! Great nose, up there with a lot of other great noses like this Longrow. Hope it tastes similarly good and we’ll have a winner here!

Taste: Taste wise it seems a lot simpler at first. First of all, it doesn’t seem to be 52%. I expected more of an alcoholic bite. It has some (bitter) wood, dust and paint. Dry paint residue and definitely some smoke, even in the taste. Sweetish fruits again (Sherry, Cream Oloroso or PX I would say) and just like the nose, a slightly acidic off-note. The off-note changes a bit and can be identified as beerlike towards the finish. Hoppy bitterness in the finish and also a sour note. The finish is long and shows the higher ABV.

The ultimate smoky malt. For me the Beer notes in this malt do not work, but they are well-kept in the background. I understand this is essentially a brewery, so it has ages and ages of history with making Beer, and using Beer casks, but this isn’t a Beer, its Whisky and it is proven over and over again, that Beer casks are not the best casks you can use for ageing Whisky. Having said that, this turned out to be a wonderful uniquely smoky malt. Recommended!

Points: 86


Säntis Malt Säntis Edition (40%, OB, Old Oak Beer Casks)

Well we all know the Scots have a lot of success with Whisky. Just like the Irish, the Americans, the Canadians and the Japanese. Today a lot more countries try to figure out how to make a good Single Malt. As far as I know, Switzerland already has 5 reasonable distilleries, or maybe even more. This Säntis Malt comes from the Locher Brewery from Appenzell. Locher has a long history in brewing beer and distilling spirits. It’s in the family already for five generations. Locher started with its malt in 1999, before that it was illegal to distill grain spirits in Switzerland.

Säntis Malt Edition SäntisQuite hard to figure out how to call this malt. On the label is stated: Säntis Malt, Swiss Highlander, Appenzeller Single Malt, Matured in Old Oak Beer Casks. On their website, this is called the Säntis Edition.

Color: Full Gold.

Nose: Malty and sweet. Very appetizing actually. Very fresh and clean. No off notes. A small hint of minty wood. A room that was painted a week before. Something fruity, maybe apples? Quite young. Hay and caramelized toast. It was aged in old beer barrels. In the nose there is hardly any wood, and certainly no beer, so I gather the casks don’t do a lot for the nose, so it’s all the aged spirit. Not bad!

Taste: Very mellow. Apple sauce. Syrupy sweet. Short attack from the wood, a sort of liquorice note, but vanishes very quickly. Very easy drinkable and again no off notes. Very short finish. The whole is too simple and too mild.

The nose was quite up to par, so I expected something with more oomph and complexity. Still I didn’t expect much from this, but it’s not all bad, not bad at all. It’s quite reasonable actually. A more aged spirit in a more active cask and at higher strength, has a potential to become a very good malt. Well worth to check out the rest of the range. Especially the distillery only Cask 1130 (Pinot Noir) at 64% ABV (less than 20 left).

Points: 70

Thanks go out to Erik for this sample.