Whisky, with its golden colour, subtle warmth and exciting aroma, has always been known as an alcoholic elixir. It is closely associated with a refined lifestyle: images of wood-panelled drawing-rooms, elegant gentlemen, broadsheet newspapers and fine cigars. The world of whisky is the world of elegant clubs and exclusive bars.
Single Malt: The Aristocrat of Whisky
An additional aspect is in play in the case of single malts: they are not blended, but are distilled by a single distillery in a pot still. The raw material is always high-quality malted barley, and they get their special aroma from long maturation in the barrel. Until now it went without saying among whisky connoisseurs that truly fine single malts could come only from Scotland or Ireland. But now there is revolutionary news: Hans Reisetbauer has presented his first single malt whisky – made in Austria!
"I do it my own way ...
Compared with an Irish or Scotch whisky, which is usually aged in sherry or port kegs, Hans Reisetbauer does it his own way. “I thought it over for a long time before deciding to use old oak casks from Austrian winemakers exclusively.” Reisetbauer matures his malt whisky in casks that were once home to a Chardonnay or Trockenbeerenauslese. The light fruit flavour lingering in the wood unites with the whisky over the course of the years, thus intensifying the aroma of malt. The result sent the first tasters into rapture:
... from the barley field to the bottle.
For his single malt whisky Hans Reisetbauer planted four hectares of summer brewing barley. It was harvested for the first time in July 1995 and taken to a nearby malting floor to be carefully malted. It was crushed and malted at 65° C before being cooled and fermented in stainless-steel tanks for around 70 hours.
The fermented mash is then twice distilled in copper pot stills. At this pointed the distillate, which has an alcohol content of around 70 per cent, is aged until fully mature in four casks that the top Austrian winemakers Alois Kracher and Heinz Velich previously used for aging Chardonnay and Trockenbeerenauslese.
Single Malt Whisky 7 Years Old 43% vol.
Single Malt Whisky 1998 56% vol.
“Fine and highly complex aroma, bright toasted fragrances reminiscent of hazelnut and dried herbs, pleasantly bready and grainy, discreetly smoky with fine spice, mature and yet full of vitality.”
Single Malt Whisky 12 years 48% vol.
The first 12-year-old single malt whisky from Austria
“This single malt whisky is convincing on the palate with wonderful notes of chocolate and coca and a very dense, fruity aroma of malt. Its maturation in Trockenbeerenauslese casks gives it a dry and sweet character with a slightly smoky note.”