By Emma Briones
Every day there are more and more distilleries joining the worldwide whisky industry. Most of them have learned from the Scottish distilleries, and in Italy the Puni Distillery is one of them.
Born in 2010 in the Italian Alps, the distillery has already produced three whiskies, two regular and one limited edition. Now Puni Sole joins the family as the third member of the core range.
Puni Sole had an initial maturation of two years in first-fill Bourbon barrels. Later, it was finished for another two years in Pedro Ximénez Sherry casks from the south of Spain.
The name of the whisky honors this finish in Pedro Ximénez casks. “Sole” means “sun” in Italian and reflects two crucial stages during the making of Sherry. After harvesting, grapes are dried under the hot Spanish sun, which concentrates the sugar and so, the sweetness of the grapes.
Later on, the wine from these grapes is aged in frequently-changing oak casks. To do so, casks are filled in equal aging intervals and are disposed in three different heights. The casks on the lower lever are always the older and only a quarter of these casks is used for bottling. The rest is mixed with the content of the casks in the medium level, allowing the younger wine to “learn” from the older. This ancient maturation method is called Solera.
Puni Sole is bottled with natural color at 46% ABV (92º proof). It has not been chill-filtered.
Puni Sole is straw gold in the glass and has medium tears. On the nose is light and fresh. It has a first blow of malt, that is quickly followed by a sweet fruity touch. There are some peach and apricot notes, with a hint of citrus. There is also a soft touch of toasted oak and a slightly soft touch of Sherry.
On the palate, Puni Sole quickly follows the nose first impression. It is fresh and fruity, starting with a touch of toasted oak. It continues with a splash of orchard fruits, light and mellow notes of vanilla and a touch of honey.
The finish gets a smooth spicy touch with peppery notes. It is long and light.
Though it takes the name from the Sherry casks, their influence is soft in Puni Sole. The whisky is sweet and really fruity, but it is still young. A nice dram that could surely improve with a little more time on the cask.
Puni Sole is officially available through the distillery website (that only ships to Italy), but soon will be in wider distribution. It is retailed at €64.