When I was bouncing around Europe early in 2015, I was trying to find a whiskey from every country I visited. Sadly Italy was the only country I couldn’t find some, though there were some small distilleries making them. Now, at the beginning of 2016, we see the entrance of Puni Italian Malt Whisky onto the market. Puni set up shop in 2010 in the Vinschgau Valley in the Alps, a place with a long, rich history of growing grain. The distillery takes its name from a nearby river, a nod to the Scottish tradition of naming their distilleries old gaelic words & names, Puni is an ancient raetic name, deeply rooted in the local history.
In 2012 they began distilling their whiskey and 2016 sees the release of their first two offerings, the Puni Nova and the Puni Alba, which have already won several awards this and last year from the International Wine & Spirits Convention.
Nova was first aged in American bourbon barrels for three years, before being finished in European Oak casks. It can be purchased at 43% or 54% ABV [86 / 104 Proof] and is described as being is a delicate whisky, which delights with its gentle sweetness and fruity flavours.
The latter, Alba, was matured for two years in Marsala dessert wine casks and one year in Islay scotch casks, to give it added depth. The Alba comes in at the same proofs as it’s brother and is said to have a harmonious combination of the rich & fruity flavours of Italy and the distinctive smoky character of the Scottish island.
Both can be purchased directly online from the distillery for between $65 and $168 USD depending on the batch and proof. Hopefully I can get my hands on a bottle of at least one of these in the near future, if you try one, be sure to leave your thoughts in the comments.