Nordic Whisky #3 - Braunstein 13:1
Braunstein 13:1, 8 YO, 46 %
The Danish distillery Bryghuset Braunstein has been around for quite some time. For the first few years they were a brewery only, but as we entered the new millennium they started distilling whisky. Braunstein is owned and run by two brothers; Michael Dines Braunstein is the sales manager, and Claus Braunstein is the distillery manager. They have a total of eight employees, and the annual production is at around 60-75.000 liters alcohol.
All their production is organic, and they would love to put out certified organic whisky. The problem is getting hold of enough certified organic oak barrels, therefore they do not label their whisky as organic.
Braunstein produces both peated and unpeated whisky. They source their peated malt from Port Ellen Maltings (60 ppm), and they say the phenol level in their peated whiskies is about 30 ppm on the bottle.
They exclusively use first fill barrels in all maturation, and they have grown their own yeast (bi-product of many years of brewing, no doubt). They use different yeast strains for the peated and the unpeated production.
It is now about four years since they put their first whisky on the market. The products are grouped in two series. The Library Collection typically includes two annual releases, one peated and one unpeated. Library whiskies are named YY:1 and YY: 2 (YY = year of release). In this review I have sampled the Braunstein 13:1 release, the unpeated expression released in 2013. The second series is called the Edition Series, and this is a single annual cask strength expression. The naming convention here is equally simplistic and straight forward. The Edition for 2013 was called E:5 (E:4 was released in 2012). In 2014 they hope to also be able to release an expression exclusively for Travel Retail.
Braunstein whiskies are currently sold in Denmark, Sweden, and a few asian markets in very limited numbers. You can purchase their products online in their own webshop whiskydirect.dk.
Well it is high time we get back to Braunstein 13:1. It has matured for 8 years on a first fill Oloroso sherry cask, it is unpeated, and was bottled on 2013-04-10.
Nose (23/25): Lovely sherry influence on the nose. Lots of autumn fruits. It tickles and caresses the nose; soft and complex. There's a pouch full of 'soft' spices here, and fruits - apples and pears - ripe, dried, baked, delicious.
Taste (22/25): Toffee, fudge, almost cola-like sweetness. The fruit impact is as big here as it was on the nose. Dark and creamy caramel.
Finish (21/25): Medium long finish. The caramel stays for the whole ride, which should have been a bit longer. Does not really develop any further, but it is pleasant enough.
Balance (22/25): A very nice introduction to Braunstein.
Sláinte! - Thomas