Welcome to [almost] August. We’re just about through the worst of the winter woes, and have a nice new dram lined up to help take the chill off. This month’s selection comes from a fairly new distillery in Italy’s far north, nestled in a nook between Switzerland and Austria at the base of the Alps. And as picturesque as that sounds, their facility is nothing short of magnificent, either; a stark architectural cube contrasting a rugged mountainous backdrop. In short, it seems like a perfect place to make whisky, and an even better setting in which to consume it. They may be on to something.
Puni distillery opened up in 2010, and has since been producing some fine whiskies indeed. The expression we’ve chosen for the Drop is the newest addition to their core range of whiskies, a 4 year old whisky aged for 2 years in ex-bourbon oak followed by an additional two years in spanish Pedro Ximénez casks. They’ve aptly titled the whisky ‘Sole’ (Italian for ‘Sun’), a nod to the process of making PX sherry that involves drying the grapes in the hot sun to concentrate their sugar content. Honey, vanilla, and light citrus aromas introduce a similar palate. The whisky is lifted and gentle, and wise beyond its four years. The sherry cask ageing hasn’t overtaken the maturation, but rather given it mouthfeel a lovely creamy texture. Subtle spice and a lengthy sweetness make this a very easy going dram indeed. On the ‘Time of Day to Drink the Dram’ scale, it would be fitting to enjoy this under the midday sun, perhaps following your morning coffee or weekend brunch. If you were to opt to partake in this one before those activities instead, we wouldn’t say you were doing it wrong.
Puni ‘Sole’ ($155)
4 Years Old [ex bourbon/PX casks] ($130)
Italian Malt Whisky