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A little background…
Stork Club is a rye whiskey produced by SpreeWood Distillers just south of Berlin, Germany. It is the first rye whiskey to be made in the country. Most German distilleries look to Scotland for inspiration but SpreeWood takes a greater interest in the whiskies of the United States. It makes sense. Their Brandenburg location has a long tradition of growing rye. Even American distillers have produced whiskey using grain imported from there.
The distillery is located within the UNESCO SpreeWood Biosphere Reserve. The unique landscape is situated 100km south of Berlin and consists of a vast inland delta around the River Spree. The area is made up of a series of channels, rivers and streams that are used by local farmers for fishing and transportation. Tourists can even cruise the waterways in traditional punts or canoes. The Reserve is home to more than 6,000 species of animal and plant life. In the Spring, storks use the area as a breeding ground, hence the name “Stork Club“.
Running the distillery is Steffen Lohr, a former bartender who worked as a brand ambassador for Bacardi, Bastian Heuser and Sebastian Brack. The distillery had occupied the site for decades when the three men took over in 2015. They visited with the goal of buying a cask but when the owner explained that he had no family and was looking for a successor, they decided to take it over. The men began producing their whiskey using rye grown locally. To mature the spirit they chose a combination of casks: both American and German oak are used with white wine and sherry used to season the oak.
Stork Club Rye Whiskey is bottled un-chill-filtered and natural colour. It’s 45% abv and retails for around £35 in the UK.
I received the whisky featured in this article as part of my paid subscription to Whisky Pioneer.
Smell: Lots of lovely caramel, butterscotch and toffee notes. Vanilla ice cream. Some nice malty cereal notes too. Then comes the fragrant spices: cinnamon, cayenne, mild chilli powder and sweet, smoky paprika. Touch of oak char in there too. Wee touch of chocolate as well.
Taste: The first thing I noticed was a nice weight to the liquid. It’s spicy and sweet. Toffee, caramel and vanilla. Some red fruits and berry notes. A touch of dark chocolate. Orange citrusy notes. Then lots and lots of spice: fantastically warming and flavourful but not overpowering. Spice as flavour, rather than heat.
Thoughts: Arrives on the palate with a lovely sweetness but there’s an odd lull before the lovely spice notes kick in. It’s like there’s some lovely flavours on the tip of the tongue and fantastic rye bread and spice from the mid to the back but there’s a little area just between the tip and the middle of the tongue where nothing much happens. That one wee gap aside, it’s a nice whiskey and a good example of the rye character. Nice length on the spice notes in the finish.
Value for money: It’s bottled at a decent strength, it’s reasonably priced at £35 and it’s got plenty of sweet and spicy flavour going on. I think this is a nice wee purchase if you’re looking for something different that won’t break the bank.
If the whiskey featured in this article has caught your attention, you can buy it from Master of Malt
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For more on Stork Club visit their website https://shop.stork-club-whiskey.com/