Slyrs Bavarian Single Malt
Oktoberfest officially ended a couple of weeks ago, but here in Chicago the celebrations and promotions continue through the end of the month. Regardless if you have been to Munich for the main event, or just an event at your local bar, Oktoberfest is synonymous with beer, particularly the Bavarian styles that emerged as the festival evolved. Nevertheless, as much as beer is part of the cultural fabric of Bavaria, during our trip to Germany in 2013 we managed to find single malt from a local distillery. With our attention this month on the global reach of the whisky industry, we thought we would review our bottle from Slyrs.
Germany is one of the biggest consumers of single malt whisky in Europe, and given the storied history of beer production, it is no surprise that the country is also home to distilleries. whisky making and beer brewing are natural complements, and the first steps in single malt production essentially produce a sort of beer. Slyrs uses Bavarian barley, malted and kilned with wood fueled fires. The distillery uses new American oak barriques to age their flagship whisky.
We came upon Slyrs at a cafe just off of the Marienplatz in central Munich. While we are always game to try local whiskies when we travel, we were surprised by the attention to detail and range of Slyrs. Despite being a younger distillery, the company has effectively designed a portfolio that would appeal to avid single malt drinkers. Along with the flagship whisky, Slyrs produces a full range of whiskies finished in casks you would expect with single malt—different sherries, madeira, port, etc., as well as a single cask bottling. No matter how you like single malt, Slyrs seems to have an expression for you.
On the Eyes: Slyrs Single malt is a deep gold color a viscous texture.
On the Nose: The nose was an intriguing mix of raspberry sweetness, newly varnished wood and fresh cut flowers.
To the Taste: The first flavors to emerge are of fresh cherries mixed with dry oak. Later we tasted sweetness that built into heat, like having a spoonful of robust forest honey.
And the Finish: The oak notes predominate the finish, but the effect isn’t overpowering.
Slyrs Single Malt is nuanced yet clean in flavor. The new oak seems to create a neutral wood palate that the spirit seems to dance around, and the result is mix of sweetness and dry oak flavor. We might compare this whisky to a the Virgin Oak expressions from Deanston and Auchentoshan. The depth of flavor is worth a taste, and we are very interested to try some of the Slyrs expressions finished in different types of wood.