• Germany's news in English
 
app_header_v3

Another kind of Bavarian brew

Sally McGrane · 18 Aug 2010, 16:33

Published: 18 Aug 2010 16:33 GMT+02:00

From luxury cars to precision machinery, “Made in Germany” still means quality craftsmanship around the world. But the Teutonic attention to detail goes far beyond engineering. This series will feature a diverse array of products from both well-known German brands and less famous firms. But no matter big or small, all of them are focused on being the best at what they do.

On a trip to Scotland in 1994, the distiller Florian Stetter looked around at the lakes, the hills, and the pine woods. He breathed in the fresh air and thought of his home Bavaria. The southern German state might be beer country extraordinaire, but after drinking a few single malts with his colleagues, he wagered he could craft a whisky every bit as good as the Scottish stuff back in Germany.

Stetter began his experiments in 1997, and it took some time before he got it right. “What was first produced,” he admits, “was undrinkable.” But Stetter kept at it, and in 1999 he eventually sold the first bottles of SLYRS Bavarian Whisky from the distillery he had founded in Schliersee. Using solely Bavarian ingredients – the barley, for example, is smoked over beechwood, not peat, and water from the Bannwald spring at the foot of the Alps – he has created a truly homegrown German whisky.

By now, he had the process down pat, distilling the barley ‘mash’ twice over in 1,500-litre copper stills, then storing the whisky for three years (as of 2015, a twelve-year version will be available). The result is a whisky with a deliciously sugary-sweet aroma, whose underlying scents contain honey, herbs, wood and just a hint of vanilla. The taste has a discreet malt flavour with herb and honey accents, with a dry finish. “Try SLYRS with 70 percent bitter chocolate,” urges Stetter.

The distillation of whisky, a process which has its European origins in Ireland and, later, Scotland, is relatively new to Germany, with distilleries popping up only in the last thirty years. SLYRS’ distilling process takes place very slowly, in much the same way that traditional Bavarian fruit brandies are made. Unlike Scotch whisky, which is generally stored in used bourbon casks, SLYRS uses American white oak barrels to obtain its deep amber colour.

Story continues below…

The distillery, which has a capacity of 60,000 bottles per year, can be visited from Monday to Sunday from 10 am to 5 pm. There, you can see the unusually shaped stills created by master Bavarian coppersmiths for SLYRS. When you’re done, you can swing by the shop for a bottle (or two) of whisky, which goes for €39.99 for 0.7 litres. If you feel like it, while you’re there you can also pick up fruit brandy and liqueurs produced by Lantenhammer, the nearby distillery Florian Stetter runs with his wife, Andrea.

Sally McGrane (news@thelocal.de)

Today's headlines
Alleged Auschwitz guard dies before arrest
Child survivors of Auschwitz, photographed by the Belarusian army. Photo: Mikhael Oschurkow

Alleged Auschwitz guard dies before arrest
8 minutes ago

Croatian prosecutors had been urged to move quickly against 98-year-old Jakob Dencinger.

Kerry lauds Merkel's 'courage' on refugees
US Secretary of State John Kerry speaks at the Munich Security Summit. Photo: Andreas Gebert/DP

Kerry lauds Merkel's 'courage' on refugees
5 hours ago

"We will join you...to stem this tide because of the potential of its damage to the fabric of a united Europe," Kerry.

Russian PM declares 'new Cold War' at Munich
Russian Prime Minister Dmitry Medvedev at the Munich Security Conference: Photo: Christof Stache / AFP

Russian PM declares 'new Cold War' at Munich
8 hours ago

"Almost every day we are accused of making new horrible threats."

Zoos show off animal lovebirds for Valentine crowds
Two black swans swim side by side in the Munich zoo. Photo: DPA

Zoos show off animal lovebirds for Valentine crowds
9 hours ago

Anyone looking for inspiration in their love life this Valentine's day could do worse than a glance at the animal kingdom.

Merkel woos Cameron at Hamburg banquet
David Cameon, Olaf Scholz, and Angela Merkel at the Matthiae-Mahl" banquet. Photo: Carmen Jaspersen/ AFP

Merkel woos Cameron at Hamburg banquet
10 hours ago

Britain "irreplaceable" in European foreign and defence policy.

Bavaria train crash
Controller 'twice tried to warn trains before Bavaria collision'
Flowers at the crash site: Photo: DPA

Controller 'twice tried to warn trains before Bavaria collision'
1 day ago

The rail controller in the south German town where two trains collided on Tuesday twice tried to stop the accident that killed eleven people.

France and Russia blast Merkel's refugee policy
French Prime Minister Manuel Valls (l), Chancellor Angela Merkel (m), Russian Prime Minister Dimitri Medvedev (r). Photos: DPA

France and Russia blast Merkel's refugee policy
1 day ago

Close allies and bitter rivals alike are urging Merkel to change course.

Germany ‘must act now to defuse debt time bomb’
Finance Minister Wolfgang Schäuble had some grim reading in his briefcase this week. Photo: DPA

Germany ‘must act now to defuse debt time bomb’
1 day ago

A leaked government report says Germany's aging population is a debt explosion waiting to happen.

The Local List
The 11 types of American you meet in Berlin
Photo: DPA.

The 11 types of American you meet in Berlin
1 day ago

Which one are you?

Top German general praises Russian bombing in Syria
Harald Kujat, former chief of staff of the Bundeswehr (German army) inspecting Ukrainian troops in Kiev in 2004. File photo: DPA

Top German general praises Russian bombing in Syria
1 day ago

A former top general in the Bundeswehr (German army) has praised Russia's campaign in support of brutal dictator Bashar al-Assad in Syria.

Sponsored Article
US taxes and FATCA: 'The time for hiding is over'
National
Border controls, sea patrol: Merkel's plan to cut refugee arrivals
Sponsored Article
Back to Boho chic: Win your new season wardrobe
Berlin
Berliner fights police and bus driver for right to keep eating Döner kebab
National
What we know so far about the Bavaria train crash
Culture
10 essential words you'll need when visiting Cologne carnival
Technology
Army presents new camo pattern that can fool night vision goggles
Health
Disabled people explain what life is like for them in Germany
International
How to vote in the US election when you live abroad
Business & Money
The small town planning to get rid of small change
National
Top five inventions of Germany's 'patent king'
National
Pensioner crushed in hospital machine
Politics
Could Bernie Sanders get elected in Germany?
Society
Most German conservatives back gay marriage: poll
Politics
'Russia aims to weaken the EU. The refugee crisis is an opportunity.'
Gallery
Eight wonders of the world's biggest toy fair in Nuremberg
National
Islamists and Neo-Nazis both ready for violence, say spies
Frankfurt
Drunk-driving cop tries to escape through toilet window
Berlin
How Berlin Bowie fans paid tribute with art on ice
Police fight rumours they've been hiding truth on refugees
Berlin
Brave passengers grab man accused of shoving woman under train
National
Software bug means German jets can't fly at night
Rhineland
First suspects arrested after Cologne sexual assaults
Politics
Berlin to North Africa: take deportees or give up aid cash
7,166
jobs available
Toytown Germany
Germany's English-speaking crowd