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  • Writer's pictureErnie - Ernst Scheiner

New St Kilian Releases 2023

Updated: Feb 1, 2023

Germany’s largest whisky distillery is situated in Franconia along the Main River near the medieval town of Miltenberg. The impressive state-of-the-art distillery features a Scottish set up: traditional mash tun, four wooden washbacks and two 6.000 litre swan neck pot stills made by Forsyths in Rothes.

St Kilian was founded by entrepreneur Andreas Thümmler in 2012. The distillery was designed by the Irish specialist David F. Hynes. The first whiskies were released in 2019. Today, the LPA is about 256.000 litres.

By the end of 2022 CTO and Master Blender Mario Rudolf presented an acclaimed web tasting new releases: seven whiskies and one whisky liqueur. He was joined by Iron Finger Axel Ritt, lead guitarist of the heavy metal band GRAVE DIGGER, and Honorary Brand Ambassador Dr Heinz Weinberger.

What a record! 1.300 St Kilian sample sets reached the viewers.

Online Tasting is in German

The peated GRAVE DIGGER BERRY METAL forest fruit liqueur (54ppm) was bottled at 40% ABV. The basis of this exceptionally strong red liqueur is a double swan neck distilled St Kilian spirit made of Scottish malted barley sourced from Glen Esk Maltings in Montrose.

A new limited single malt version of a GRAVE DIGGER FIELDS OF BLOOD was presented in an iconic bottle. Only 5.450 bottles will come to the shelves. Whisky Blender Mario Rudolf preferred an alcohol concentration of 47% ABV, non-chill-filtered and non-coloured:

“The single malt is wonderfully creamy, sweet and fruity with some notes of vanilla, red berry compote and juicy grapes.
Accompanied by a warming oaky spicyness with some fine tannins and wrapped in mild peat smoke.”

The peated malted barley (54ppm) came from Glen Esk south of Aberdeen. It was fermented for more than 70 hours in wooden washbacks and slowly double distilled in 6.000 litre pot stills. The spirit fully matured in red wine casks, first-fill Bourbon barrels and Ruby Port wine casks.

St Kilian’s range is absolutely special. The limited Signature Editions give an idea what modern whisky making is all about. Different malt and yeast varieties, various distillation methods and lots of different casks allow Mario Rudolf further methods of whisky blending by using whiskies which fully matured in different wood. His recipes are an arrangement of flavours which integrate and summerize the various profiles of whiskies which enjoyed full time maturation. Finishings are not liked by head distiller Rudolf.

New Signature Editions TWELVE (mild)

and THIRTEEN (peated)

For the Signature Edition TWELVE Master Distiller Mario Rudolf selected ‘mild’ (non-peated) four-year-old single malts which had been matured in first-fill-Moscatel de Setúbal barriques (225l, ), first-fill Jamaican rum barrels and some virgin American white oak casks (190l). The particular vatting of the whiskies was filled in 12.550 bottles at 50,8% ABV. The shape of the bottles resemble the swan neck pot stills of St Kilian.

“Juicy peaches, sweet grapes and creamy vanilla with the impression of ripe pineapple pieces make for a mouth warming melange of spicy oak,
notes of grape seed and a pinch of pepper,”

Mario Rudolf describes the flavour profile.

Signature Edition TWELVE is a delightful, tropical and spicy whisky made in Germany.

Signature Edition THIRTEEN

The Signature Edition THIRTEEN, on the other hand, is characterized by a rather diverse and unusual composition of five different virgin wood casks.

In the European Union by regulations distillers are allowed to use any kind of wood for whisky maturation. At St Kilian the mastermind Mario Rudolf takes a keen advantage of a wide range of wood types. Today more than 424 cask varieties shape the aroma profiles of St Kilian whiskies.

Signature Edition THIRTEEN is created of whiskies which fully matured either in casks set up by Palatinate oak (225l, 11%), Hungarian oak (225l, 32%) and rather unique woods such as 225 l Barriques of Wild Robinia (also known as ‘false Acacia, 27%), chestnut (225l, 27%) and cherry (95l, 3 %). By the end of 2022 Rudolf selected whiskies which the St Kilian team had distilled in 2016, 2018 and 2019. The malt was peated again by malsters from Glenesk to 54ppm by using peat from St Fergus. The single malt is bottled at 53,9% ABV. Limited to 8.680 bottles only.

“Juicy apricots, red cherries and sweet vanilla cream combine with warming woody notes.
Fine spicy oak, white pepper and a hint of ginger, discreetly wrapped in aromatic peat smoke make for a a full-bodied, colour-intensive and characterful single malt…
The latest edition of a St Kilian single malt presents itself as a creamy and spicy melange of dark fruit jam, fine tannins and mouth warming notions of peat smoke with some subtle dry ash notes and hints of cocoa.”

St Kilian Standard Range

Two new core St Kilian single malts will be available in future:



ST KILIAN PEATED - Rich & Smoky.

Both varieties are blends of single malt whiskies made by St Kilian distillers.

Whisky Creator Mario Rudolf explains his recipe: “70% of my whiskies have fully matured in barrels which held Bourbon beforehand and 30% of them were flavoured by seasoned Pedro Ximénez and Oloroso Sherry casks while full time maturation. At St Kilian we do not finish our whiskies.”

The Kilian Classic is

“…Balanced sweet and at the same time warming with apricots and peaches, creamy toffee as well as spicy ice cream.
Perfectly rounded off with a pinch of white pepper and a hint of fresh mint.”

The mild ST KILIAN CLASSIC impresses with its balanced fruit sweetness, which is perfectly rounded off by spicy oak aromas and some fine herbal notes.

Whereas the latest ST KILIAN PEATED single malt standard convinces with its full-bodied fruity sweetness plus its spiciness along with some very fine peat smoke and fresh mint notions.

The warming peat smoke flavour makes for an interesting profile which has a rich intensity of grilled apricots, creamy toffee and subtle oak spice wrapped in a lingering peat smoke. The peated standard (54ppm) is well balanced and full of character. The sweetness makes it for a lovely daily tipple.

Both versions are bottled at 46% ABV, non-chill-filtered and non-coloured. The iconic St Kilian pot still shaped heavy bottles are of 700ml size. They bear no age statement and they are not chill-filtered and not artificially coloured. The whiskies are of 3 to four years old.

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About the author

Ernie - Ernst J. Scheiner is the editor of the portal The Gateway to Distilleries

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 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.


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