Whisky Review #48: Slyrs 3 Years Old

This week’s review takes us to what is uncharted territory for this blog: Germany, and more specifically, Slyrs distillery.

The distillery has historically focused on the production of brandy and schnapps and was founded in 1928 by the Stetter family, but their production focus switched to whisky in 1999 and it has become their main product ever since.

Slyrs Distillery (or Destillerie if we were to be rather specific) is located in the Schliersee region of Bavaria and the whisky portion of the distillery was officially founded in 2003 and has a current production capacity of 150,000 litres of pure alcohol on an annual basis.

The whisky production process, while relatively similar to that of Scotch, tends to include some variations which play a relatively significant part in the final outcome of the spirit produced.

The malt, which is locally grown, is smoked using beech wood and mashed, fermented and distilled twice in the 1500 litre stills before being matured in 225 litre charred casks made of new American White Oak from Missouri before being matured for a minimum of 3 years and 1 day before being bottled.

The fundamental difference between Slyrs and other similarly aged Scotch whiskies is that the former is designed to impart a fruity and light flavour which is suited for drinking from at a younger age (in this case, as soon as the 3 year minimum has been reached).

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One of the racked warehouses at the distillery where the maturation process takes place.
The core range consists of a 3 Years Old expression bottled at 43% abv as well as a cask strength version for those who prefer a stronger alternative. The distillery has also previously released three limited edition versions in 2013 which have been finished in PX, Oloroso and Port casks respectively.

The distillery also added a 12 Years Old expression to the core range and this was released in late 2015 in order to commemorate the first ever 12 year old release from the distillery since its inception in 2003.

Today’s review focuses on the 3 Years Old expression which has been bottled at a standard abv of 43% and is probably the most commonly available of the core releases. Special thanks to Aaron for bringing back a sample of this dram from Germany for me to review!

So, let’s get on with the review, shall we?

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A dram of Slyrs 3 Years Old

Slyrs 3 Years Old (43% abv)

Colour: Deep gold

Nose: Initially fruity and floral, with parma violets, nutmeg  and hints of peach presenting themselves. With time, elements of barley, a certain yeastiness that is reminiscent of good German beer and a slight soapiness make an appearance. A rather interesting nosing experience! (18/25)

Palate: Light sweetness with and the familiar yeastiness that one would associate with German beer are immediately apparent, with hints of cinnamon and nutmeg and a slight alcoholic note presenting themselves a bit later on.

The barley note in this dram is rather apparent, but more so in a beer-ish way than the way one would associate with a whisky. Summer fruits consisting of peaches, lemons and some prunes intensify the intrigue of this dram. (19/25)

Finish: A relatively short finish, with floral and spicy notes dominating and some slightly fruity and soapy notes at the very end. Somewhat uninspiring to be honest. (16/25)

Balance: Rather spicy and definitely on the youthful side. Not a bad dram, but definitely needs a longer maturation as it feels slightly underdeveloped. There definitely is potential for this to be a great whisky, but it needs the added time to get there. (16/25)

Rating: 69/100

I believe that the 12 Years Old expression of this whisky would provide a better representation of the distillery’s house style and the age will definitely factor into the final equation, although it remains to be seen if the whisky is able to withstand the longer maturation time without succumbing to the whims of the wood.

Slyrs whisky can be purchased in various markets around the world, especially those in Europe and in Australia. But it can also be purchased from the Slyrs official website (please be aware that this will entail additional shipping, taxation and customs duties).

Until the next time, have a great week ahead.

Slainte!

Brendan

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