Fans could celebrate the taste of heavy metal with the new Judas Priest - Single Malt Whisky - British Steel by listening to the record British Steel
Following on from the successful collaboration with the British Metal Band, St. Kilian Distillers presented the new Judas Priest Heavy Metal release in a Webshow on Saturday, 6th May 2023.
The unpeated St Kilian single malt whisky made by Master Blender Mario Rudolf is as legendary as the record with the bizarre razor blade on the cover. The St Kilian new make was matured in first-fill 190 litre Bourbon barrels, i.e. 70% Four Roses, 30% Heaven Hill and some others for three to four years.
These whiskies were married to unpeated single malts which had matured in virgin American white oak 190 litre casks. They were coopered at the East Bernstadt Cooperage (EBC) in Kentucky. The toasted casks were set up using airdrying Appalachian mountain oak wood staves for 36 months. Sometimes the coopers add an additional seven or nine days drying finish in a heated kiln.
The Kilian spirits were double distilled in Scottish pot stills manufactured by Forsyths. 40% of the malt cocktail was consisted of Münchner Malt produced by the Frankonian Malster Weyermann in Bamberg. Their malted barley varieties - some of them are patented - are used by brewers world wide
After milling and mashing the worts fermented for 72 hrs in wooden washbacks set up by coopers from Dufftown. Some of the spirits came off the spirit still when the St Kilian team had previously distilled heavily peated malt. Thus a hint of smoke appears in the final vatting of the Judas Priest British Steel.
"We added a few barrels with spirits from the transition phase when we changed from our peated distilling season to the unpeated season...thus some smoky notes are lingering in the background and make for a complex harmonious pleasing Judas Priest whisky."
Rudolf, the innovative mastermind of St Kilian, is praising the harmonious maturation of their spirit in Four Roses and Heaven Hill barrels in combination with Münchner Malt. Barrels and Malt make for ripe fruity notes and some characteristic herbal aromas. The deep flavour profile is quite different to that one which they usually get from Jack Daniel barrels.
At the Frankonian distillery they select their final whiskies in a team of Zoltan Fodi, Lars Baethcke, both distillers, Dr. Heinz Weinberger (Communication & Science), Head of Marketing Andreas Kreser and CTO Mario Rudolf. But actually it is Mario who creates the St Kilian whiskies:
"I have the ideas and I make the suggestions. The team ultimately decides.
I am also responsible for recipes, mash bills and cask selection and the combination of these two plus the appropriate reflux setting at the spirit still.
I am responsible for everything that ultimately makes up the final product."
Please note: At St. Kilian they intend to do only full maturation in casks and no double maturation or finishings. However, a revatting has to be done when casks accidentally are leaking.
The Judas Priest British Steel single malt was hand bottled onsite at 47% abv in a unique Judas Priest bottle, non-coloured and non chill-filtered of course. An Italian bottling line will be installed onsite by this summer.
12.000 bottles - 0.7 litre - hit the German market at a retail price of Euro 59.90. They can also be ordered at the Distillery or be bought at local dealers in Germany.
Official Taste Notes
Intense fruity notes of ripe pears and apples, accompanied by sweet vanilla, a hint of banana and delicately spicy oak and accompanied by malty notes with a hint of smoke in the background.
Creamy-sweet vanilla, ripe pears, crunchy apples and some banana bread complement each other with a pleasantly warming oak spice, accompanied by dark nougat with a hint of barley malt.
Finely spicy, warming oak notes linger with a hint of dark chocolate, a little dark bread crust and a hint of dry smoke for a long time."
My personal impressions:
The whisky is mild, creamy and soft, sweet at the beginning with some notes of ripe apples and pears. Some notions of ripe apricots come up too.
A lingering hint of smoke makes for harmony. Notes of malt, of bananas and herbs make for an easy drinking tipple which pleases nose and tongue. The alcohol of the young whisky is perfectly embedded due to slow and clean distillation.
The lasting mouth feel reminds of chocolate and malted barley. St Kilian's Judas Priest British Steel version is a nice dram to appreciate.
Sweetness and a charming character make for a tipple which will not only please metal fans but also those who just like good well balanced whiskies.
St Kilian Distillery. Tun room and still house. Bourbon Barrels in the Bunker City Warehouse.
The Judas Priest British Steel Single Malt
is available at the distillery web shop.
JUDAS PRIEST – RAM IT DOWN Single Malt
by St Kilian Distillers
Whisky geeks who like heavily peated whiskies will enjoy a rather special Judas Priest Single Malt which is dedicated to to the eleventh studio Judas Priest record "Ram it down".
Ultra Heavily Peated barley malt with a phenol content of 91ppm (parts per million) came from Glenesk Maltings in Montrose, south of Aberdeen. St Kilian is the only distillery in Germany to mill, mash and ferment this Highland peated malt.
The Kilian spirits were double distilled in Scottish pot stills manufactured by Forsyths.
St. Kilian's master blender Mario Rudolf created a vatting of young St Kilian whiskies which have matured in three 190-litre first-fill Bourbon barrels and of Kilian malts which received the aromas in virgin American white oak cask and of two quite unusual small 38-litre ex-peated Bourbon casks.
Rudolf is happy:
"The marriage of the particular whiskies explodes in a taste explosion of spicy peat smoke, sweet fruit melange and creamy vanilla."
The RAM IT DOWN Judas Priest Single Malt is limited to 1,300 bottles only. The single malt was non-chill filtered and not artificial coloured with strong 49% abv. Retail price is Euro 99,90 for a 0.7 l bottle.
RAM IT DOWN can also be ordered at the Distillery or be bought at local dealers in Germany.
Official Taste Notes
Intense peat smoke, accompanied by creamy vanilla and crisp barley malt, leaves space for fruity aromas of juicy pears as well as fresh apricots.
The sweet fruit notes of juicy pears and ripe apricots, refined with vanilla cream, are perfectly balanced by a warming oak spice with dry peat smoke.
Creamy fruit spread with vanilla lingers pleasantly warming and pleasantly long with a fine biscuit note, dark toffee as well as ashy smoke aromas."
Glenesk Maltings. The furnace and the peat smoke leaving the kiln.
German speaking friends may watch the presentation
by CTO and Master Blender Mario Rudolf, Dr. Heinz Weinberger (Communication and Science) and St. Kilian's Honorary Brand Ambassador Udo Sonntag
Judas Priest. British Steel. Live Concert.
Ernie - Ernst J. Scheiner is the editor of The Gateway to Distilleries www.whisky-distilleries.net
He documents over 150 distilleries photographically from the inside and describes the production of the whiskies in detail. Since his studies at the University of
Edinburgh, he has been involved with the subject of whisky and has published in specialist magazines such as The Ireland Journal, Kleinbrennerei, Whisky Passion and The Highland Herold. Features and stories have appeared in blogs like whiskyexperts, whiskyfanbl, SHMKR (closed) and whiskyintelligence. As former head of the VHS Ingelheim, and now as a whisk(e)y ambassador, he teaches distilling, organizes study tours and tours to the sources of whisky.