New St. Kilian publications surprise in 2023

Classic & Peated, Thirteen & Twelve

New St. Kilian releases surprise in 2023 - Deutsche Whisky Nachrichten

By Ernie Scheiner, The Gateway to Distilleries

Rüdenau, February 2023

Germany's largest whiskey distillery is located in Franconia near the medieval town of Miltenberg on the Main River. The impressive, state-of-the-art distillery features Scottish-style equipment: a traditional mash tun, four wooden washbacks, and two 6,000-liter gooseneck copper pot stills from Forsyths in Rothes. St. Kilian was founded in 2012 by entrepreneur Andreas Thümmler and designed by Irish specialist David F. Hynes. The first whiskies were released in 2019. Today, the annual volume of alcohol produced (LPA) is 256,000 liters.

At the end of 2022, CTO and Master Blender Mario Rudolf presented a highly acclaimed online tasting with various new releases: seven whiskies and one whisky liqueur. He was accompanied by Iron Finger Axel Ritt, lead guitarist of the heavy metal band GRAVE DIGGER, and Honorary Brand Ambassador Dr. Heinz Weinberger. What a record! 1,300 tasting sets reached the audience.

The peated GRAVE DIGGER BERRY METAL forest fruit liqueur (54 ppm) was bottled at 40% vol. The base of this exceptionally strong red liqueur is a St. Kilian Spirit double distilled in the gooseneck pot stills, made from Scottish peated smoked malt from Glen Esk Maltings in Montrose.

Presented a new limited edition single malt version, the GRAVE DIGGER - FIELDS OF BLOOD, in an iconic bottle. This bottling is limited to 5,450 bottles. Whisky blender Mario Rudolf preferred an alcohol concentration of 47% vol, not chill-filtered and not colored: "The single malt is wonderfully creamy, sweet and fruity with notes of vanilla, red berry compote and juicy grapes. Accompanied by a warming oak spice with fine tannins and wrapped in mild peat smoke."

The peat smoke malt (54 ppm) comes from Glen Esk south of Aberdeen. It was fermented for more than 70 hours in wooden washbacks and slowly double distilled in the 6,000 liter pot stills. The spirit matured completely in red wine, first-fill bourbon as well as Ruby Port casks.

The St. Kilian range is something very special. The limited Signature Editions give an impression of what modern whiskey production is all about. Different types of malt and yeast, different distillation methods, and many different casks allow Mario Rudolf to use more methods of whisky blending by using whiskies that have matured in different woods. The results are an arrangement of flavors that integrate and summarize the different profiles of whiskies that have received - each in itself - a full-time maturation. For finishes Head Distiller Rudolf does not like.

Category Signature CLASSIC PEATED

New Signature Editions TWELVE (mild) and THIRTEEN (peated)

For the Signature Edition TWELVE, Master Distiller Mario Rudolf selected "mild" (not peated) four-year-old single malts aged in first-fill Moscatel de Setúbal barriques (225 liters), first-fill Jamaican rum casks and some fresh American white oak casks (Virgin Oak, 190 liters). This particular composition of whiskies was bottled in 12,550 bottles at 50.8% vol. The shape of the bottles resembles the pot stills of St. Kilian.

"Juicy peaches, sweet grapes and creamy vanilla with a hint of ripe pineapple pieces create a warming melange of spicy oak, notes of grape seeds and a pinch of pepper," is how Mario Rudolf describes the flavor profile. The Signature Edition TWELVE is a delicious, tropical and spicy whisky made in Germany.

The Signature Edition THIRTEEN, on the other hand, features a rather diverse and unusual composition of five different virgin-fresh wood barrel types.

In the European Union, distilleries are permitted by regulation to use any type of wood for maturing whiskey. In Scotland, it may only be oak. At St. Kilian, mastermind Mario Rudolf makes use of a wide range of wood types. Today, more than 363 barrel types (updated by St. Kilian Distillers) characterize the aroma profiles of St. Kilian whiskies.

The Signature Edition THIRTEEN consists of whiskies matured entirely in casks of Palatinate oak (225 liters, 11%), Hungarian oak (225 liters, 32%) and very special woods such as 225-liter barriques of wild robinia (also known as "false acacia", 27%), chestnut (225 liters, 27%) and cherry (95 liters, 3%). In late 2022, Rudolf selected whiskies that the St. Kilian team had distilled in 2016, 2018 and 2019. The malt was again peated by the Glenesk maltster with peat from St. Fergus to 54 ppm. The single malt is bottled at 53.9% vol and limited to only 8,680 bottles.

"Juicy apricots, red cherries and sweet vanilla cream combine with warming wood notes. Fine spicy oak, white pepper and a hint of ginger, discreetly wrapped in aromatic peat smoke, result in a full-bodied, colorful and characterful single malt...The latest release of a St. Kilian single malt presents itself as a creamy and spicy melange of dark fruit jam, fine tannins and warming peat smoke with some subtle dry ash notes and a hint of cocoa.

Category Signature CLASSIC PEATED

St. Kilian Core Range

Two new St Kilian single malt whiskies will be available in the future: St Kilian CLASSIC - Mild & Fruity and St Kilian PEATED - Rich & Smoky. Both varieties are single malt whiskies from the St. Kilian distillery.

Master Blender Mario Rudolf explains his recipe: "70% of the whiskies are fully matured in barrels that previously contained bourbon, and 30% of them received a full maturation in barrels previously flavored with Pedro Ximénez or Oloroso Sherry. At St. Kilian, our whiskies are not "finished".

The St. Kilian CLASSIC is "...Balanced sweet and warming at the same time with apricots and peaches, creamy toffee as well as spicy oak. Perfectly rounded with a pinch of white pepper and a hint of fresh mint." The mild St. Kilian CLASSIC impresses with its balanced fruit sweetness, which is perfectly rounded off by spicy oak aromas and some fine herbal notes.

The current St. Kilian PEATED single malt whisky, on the other hand, impresses with its full-bodied fruit sweetness and spiciness, coupled with the finest peat smoke and hints of fresh mint. The warming peat smoke flavor makes for an interesting profile that features a rich intensity of grilled apricots, creamy toffee and subtle oak spice wrapped in a lingering peat smoke. The peated Core Range bottling (54 ppm) is well balanced and full of character. The sweetness makes it a delightful "daily dram".

Both versions are bottled at 46% vol, are neither chill-filtered nor colored. The iconic, heavy bottles in the shape of the St. Kilian Pot Still have a size of 700 ml. The whiskies are aged between three and four years and are permanently available at St. Kilian.

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