Origin: Trentino Alto Adige (Italy)
Type: Italian Malt Whisky
Ageing casks: Virgin
Added coloring: No
Owner: Puni (Ebensperger family)
Average price: € 179.00
Official website: www.puni.com
In recent years, the South Tyrolean distillery has dedicated itself to limited bottlings with two parallel series, Arte and Aura, which are first distributed annually through their shop and then reach all conventional channels.
This is the third edition of this fullcask strength bottling, which this time sees maturation for almost nine years (8.8 they are keen to point out) all in virgin French oak casks, definitely a gamble for a mixed-grain malt that takes it more towards the US style than the Scottish.
910 bottles at a price that isn’t exactly cheap for what is still a NAS and not even a single malt, but you must always remember that Puni is a distillery with a small production, and certainly doesn’t have the numbers to afford ‘popular’ editions.
On the nose, the first thought runs towards American ryes, a pungent and spicy perfume (tons of nutmeg and cinnamon) over treacle, acacia honey, ripe apple peel, candied apricot and brioche bread. But this is only the beginning, because left to evolve in the glass it brings out balsamic and menthol veins, with a handful of nuts (walnuts, pine nuts), dates and a slight impression of varnished wood. Intense but not overpowering.
The spices dominate the palate, with paprika joining the company, shifting the needle of the scales towards the vegetal and balsamic components at the expense of the sweeter and creamier part, here clearly in the background and rather elusive. It becomes rather dry in a short time, paving the way for notes of liquorice, wood, nuts and citrus hints. The vegetal part becomes predominant along the length, with fennel and cucumber.
The finish is quite long and vegetal, dry, with spicy touches, wood and candied fruit.
The experiment could have been interesting on paper, but I found it lacking in incisiveness. The interesting hints on the nose were lost all too quickly on tasting, as if despite the high alcohol content it couldn’t keep up the tension in the palate. Really a pity.