On the final day of our Family Reunion, my cousin (technically, my 4th cousin - once removed) gave me a bottle of Slyrs Bavarian Single Malt. He had heard I was a big whisky drinker and told me he was a fan of single malts himself (specifically the Islays). We both lamented not knowing this about one another sooner - we could've enjoyed a dram (or two) together!
I didn't have Slyrs while in Bavaria, in fact, I didn't try it until tonight. I had been waiting for a good opportunity to try it. While it would be better to share it with him, I will write this with him in mind.
Slyrs is the only single-malt of Bavaria (as far as I understand it). It's made in the Scottish tradition so the barley is smoked (malted) over peat to halt the germination process (although it isn't very heavy on the peat). It has some heat to it since it's only aged for three years in American Oak (i.e. used bourbon barrels). However, the bourbon-aging adds a touch of honey to the aroma and taste. There are hints of tropical fruits and sage on the nose too but the heat of this youthful whisky and its smokiness over-power any other qualities it may have (although there is an interesting lingering "mineral water" aftertaste).
As I reflect on this new whisky, I reflect on the experiences I had in Bavaria and all of my "new" family. I found that although four or five generations separated us, we had a lot in common. I just wish I knew whisky was one thing other thing we shared, because I think it could've been even more fun because communication between one non-German-speaking American and many good-but-not-great-English-speaking Germans seemed easier when we all had a few drinks. When I head back next year (which I promised I would) I'll be sure to remember the Scotch (or I'll just buy some Slyrs...).