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  • Writer's pictureErnie - Ernst Scheiner

Franconian Vatted Malt. Elch and Kilian




Trendsetting Partnership


Two German distilleries from the same region of Franconia celebrated their cooperation and presented their first vatted malt.


The family owned Elch Distillery in Gräfenberg is known for its rather special German peated malt whiskies:


"Individual Malt Note

Since we don't want to copy any whisky style, we only use German peat for kilning. It has a specific note in which we can detect hints of salt. In this way, we lay the foundations for the individuality of our spirits in this important production step.

Careful Distillation

For optimal flavour yield, we use our brewer's yeast and let the wort (wash) ferment for a whole week. When distilling in a kettle, we ensure long contact with copper. To do this, we carry out the distilling process slowly over five to six hours. In order to increase the separation performance of unwanted components, we use a dephlegmator, which also sets us apart from the distilling tradition of classic malt producers.

Harsh climate

But all whiskeys have one character in common: they are exposed to a temperature difference of -20°C to +25°C in a 300-year-old, open barn. We are convinced that this “maturation” in the cask turns everyone into a real, honest guy who can be seen and tasted. We are happy to give a share of around 5% to the angels (Angels' Share), as the barrels interact with the surrounding atmosphere."


The family owned St Kilian Distillery in Rüdenau, Lower Franconia, is widely known for its Scottish distillation equipment - mash tun, wooden washbacks, a pair of 6.000 liter Swan Neck Stills made by Forsyths and its vast cask management with over 370 cask and wood types. At St Kilian they distill Franconian malted barley but also German exclusively peated Scottish Malt from Glenesk:


"In the 7th century, three monks from Ireland Christianised Franconia. In their luggage they had the "Aqua Vitae" - the water of life - and a technology for its production. Did they succeed in convincing the pagans of Christianity? In the end, they became martyrs and are still venerated today as the holy apostles of the Franks, St. Kilian, Kolonat and Totnan.

Ireland was Christianized early on, and so in the 6th century Irish missionaries traveled as far as the Middle East.


There they discovered the art of distillation at the Arabs with the help of small copper pot stills. The resulting alcohol was enriched with spices, herbs and flowers and served as a perfume. The Irish monks drank it and found the "Aqua Vitae", as they named it in Latin, to be a formidable medicine for body and mind. From then on, and with this knowledge gained, Aqua Vitae was distilled and distributed in the monasteries of Ireland on copper stills. A barley spirit, comparable to today's "New Make" (Spirit) of the whiskey distilleries."




Press release St Kilian Distillers

from September 27, 2023


"With the new special bottling Franconian Vatted Malt Whisky, Elk Whisky from Thuisbrunn in Upper Franconia and St. Kilian Distillers from Rüdenau in Lower Franconia are celebrating Franconia's rich distillery culture. Celebrate with us!




An exclusive individual barrel from each of the two distilleries was used for the Franconian joint project.

Georg Kugler, founder and master distiller of Elch-Whisky, selected an eight-year-old peated single malt whiskey that was allowed to mature in a former Bourbon Tennessee Whiskey barrel from Jack Daniel's [190l].


The St. Kilian Single Malt Whisky matured for four years in a former barrique barrel

[225l] from the Bürgstadt winery Fürst, which was initially filled with Pinot Noir red wine and then with cherry brandy for 20 years.




Franconian Partners. Georg Kugler and Mario Rudolf


The Franconian Vatted Malt Whisky 2023 shows the harmony between the different styles and flavor profiles of the two distilleries and underlines their friendly bond.


This remarkable blended malt whisky

captures the soul of Franconia

in every bottle.


The key facts:

Marriage of two single malt whiskeys from Elch Whisky and St. Kilian Distillers:

ex bourbon barrel - peated and ex cherry brandy barrel - unpeated

bright fruit and delicate cherry notes

creamy vanilla sweetness and gentle smoke

50% vol

€59.90 0.5 l


The Franconian Vatted Malt, limited to 920 bottles, is now available in the St. Kilian online shop, in the distillery shop in Rüdenau and in the Elch Whisky Shop."


Bürgstadt blickt auf Rüdenau in den Hügeln

VDP Weingut Fürst and St. Kilian Distillers. Pinot Noir grapes. Wine Maker Sebastian Fürst and St Kilian CTO Mario Rudolf. French barriques from Burgundy.



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