Puni Distillery, the first whisky distillery in Italy, has released the country’s first single malt. Established in 2010, Puni Distillery started distilling in February 2012. The spirit was then left to mature in the warehouses for over three years, until it was finally bottled as a single malt and launched this autumn.
"After nurturing our special liquid for so many years, we are very proud to be finally able to share our new Italian-born whisky with the world," comments Jonas Ebensperger, one of the founders of the family-run business. "We put all our hearts into the making this whisky and we are very excited to give whisky lovers all over the world a chance to taste it."
Located in the heart of the Italian Alps in South Tyrol, Puni Distillery use locally sourced grain, pure mountain spring water and traditional Scottish copper pot stills. Due to considerable seasonal temperature variations, the whisky matures much faster than in other parts of the world, thus acquiring complex aromas even at a young age. To showcase the variety and complexity of flavours, Puni distillery has released two expressions with very different taste profiles:
Puni Nova – nova, meaning ‘new’ in latin, is described as “a wonderfully delicate yet spicy single malt with warming and sweet aromas of honey, banana and vanilla”. Matured for three years in American ex-bourbon barrels, Puni Nova was then finished in European oak casks.
Puni Alba –alba meaning ‘dawn’ in Italian, but also ‘Scotland’ in Scots Gaelic, Puni Alba offers “a complex bouquet of candy fruits, sultanas and exotic fruits entwined with warm, reassuring hints of smoke”. Puni Alba was matured for more than two years in Marsala dessert wine casks and one year in ex-Islay casks - a harmony of the fruity flavours of Italy and the smoky notes of the Scottish island.
The quality of the liquid inside is reflected in the luxury packaging specially designed by up-and-coming Italian designer Christian Zanzotti.
“With a background in industrial design, including cars, furniture and luxury goods, Zanzotti fully embraced this project and delivered a fantastic design, which we love and which we hope our consumers will too,” adds Ebensperger.
To commemorate the arrival of the very first Italian single malt, the distillery has released 977 individually numbered and hand-signed bottles from the first batch of Puni Nova 54% ABV, RRP €126, and Puni Alba 54% ABV, RRP €154. The first-edition bottles are available exclusively from PuniItalia online shop and at the Puni visitor centre.
Puni Nova and Puni Albi Batch No. 02/2015, released shortly after the first edition, at 54% ABV and 43% ABV with RRPs of €59 and RRP €74 respectively, are available from PuniItalia online shop plus selected resellers throughout Italy, France and Germany.
About the distillery
The ancient raetic name Puni is taken from the nearby river Puni. The pure alpine water, locally sourced grains, traditional copper pot stills from Scotland and bespoke maturation warehouses are the main elements for the creation of the single malt whisky.
The distillery was envisioned and designed as a 13-metre high cube. The eye-catching design of the outer hull with offset red bricks is inspired by the traditional building style of barn windows in the region and reflects the harmonious interplay of tradition and modernity at Puni Distillery. The whisky is produced inside the cube, below ground level. Each year the distillery's visitor center attracts many visitors from around the world.
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7 December 2015 - Felicity Murray The Drinks Report, editor