Over the years, Burg Scharfenstein – a medieval castle in the federal state of Thuringia in Germany – had many owners. Since most of them did not really know what to do with the place, they did not give it the attention it needed and deserved. Luckily, this changed in recent years when the folks behind The Nine Springs leased the time-worn fortress from the local community and whipped it back into shape. After extensive renovations, Burg Scharfenstein reopened its gates to the public in 2018 as a beautiful, whisky-themed world of experience. To celebrate the occasion, The Nine Springs released a limited edition whisky bottling that was vatted exclusively from Oloroso as well as PX casks. After Batch 1 had sold out, they followed up on it with Batch 2 in 2020. On paper, it is identical to its predecessor; and the details sound mighty fine: Made in Germany. Composed from regional ingredients. Matured in sherry casks for a minimum of five years. Bottled with an over-proof ABV of 53.7 per cent. As I don’t know Scharfenstein Edition No. 1, I cannot compare the two. What I can say, however, is this: Scharfenstein Edition No. 2 by The Nine Springs is one helluva single malt whisky from my home country! It is lavishly fitted-out, delicately sherried, and highly palatable. In regard to smell and taste, it brims with nougat, cocoa and other chocolate notes – if that is a flavor profile you enjoy, I am sure you will be pretty impressed by this dram. I for my part certainly am!
Eye: Hazelnut brown with a touch of gleaming red.
Nose: A full-on choc n’ berry boost! Rich, dark chocolate enters the nostrils first. Squashed brambles and black currants follow after. Additionally, there are burnt cookies and powdery winter spices – especially cinnamon roles. Moreover, old parchment and fine study dust provide an antique quality. Somewhat opposite to that, a juicy rhubarb splash gives the intense bouquet a refreshing, sour-ish fruitiness.
Mouth: The initial sip is sweet and creamy with lots of cocoa and hazelnut as well as fluffy caramel pudding. The fruity notes from the nosing are less present on the tongue; therefore, the chocolate-y notes are even more dominant. With time, a shift takes place: Whereas the flavors were bright and nougat-y at first, they become more tart after a while. Imagine someone would spread thick, dark chocolate sauce all over a scoop o blueberry ice cream … yummy!
Finish: Pretty long and chewy with lotsa milk chocolate, jaffa cake, mocha bean and toffee. Towards the end, an entirely new note appears, too: aromatized tobacco leaf. The whole thing is rounded off with a lively oak freshness and the electrifying tickle of the high strength ABV.
Type: Single Malt Whisky
Age: NAS (5 years old)
Alc. volume: 53.7 per cent
Cask type: Oloroso & PX
Bottle size: 0.5 litres
Price range: ~60.00 Euro
More info: https://www.number-nine.eu/ (Distillery)
*** I bought the whisky from the distillery shop as a regular customer. ***