Fortune & Curiosity
In 1998, Karl Locher, the owner of Brauerei Locher AG, asked himself how it might possible to capture the aromas and beer extracts in old barrels. Beer barrels owned by his forebears and aged from 60 to over 130 years old were rediscovered almost by chance during a conversion project. Karl Locher, a member of the fifth generation to run the family business, also knew that an old law dating from the Second World War prohibiting the Swiss from producing brandy from the staple food barley, was due to be changed in 1999.


A Unique Product in every Barrel
Each of the 26 whiskies on the Trek is unique. Differences are evident not only in the aromas, but also in the colors. The color palette ranges from light straw to dark gold, despite the original product being the same for all Säntis Malts - barley malt distillate from the Locher Brewery in Appenzell. How are the different facets of the Alpstein whiskies created? Various factors are crucial for this. The temperature, humidity and altitude of the storage location all affect the aging process. The greater the altitude of a barrel, the more liquid evaporates, and consequently the stronger the concentration becomes. The difference in altitude between the Brauquöll in Appenzell and the Alter Säntis mountain inn is around 1700 meters. Accordingly, the whisky becomes stronger with every meter. The temperature of the storage location is critical for the speed at which the whisky ages. The lower the temperature, the slower the aging process.

And, not least, the different barrels are responsible for the special nuances. In a former life, port, sherry, rum, pinot noir and even plum brandy slumbered in these exclusive wooden barrels from all over the world. Even years later, the wood passes on the corresponding flavors to the whisky. This results in not only a special aroma, but also a special color. So every barrel, every bottle has its very own character.


Säntis Malt
So it is thanks to the inspiration of one man that the hard work and achievements of his forebears were brought back to life and today we produce a whisky that has won numerous awards and is globally unique.


Success & Consequences
The Säntis Malt has made a name for itself faster than expected. And so it happened that the 26 mountain innkeepers in Appenzell wanted to serve Säntis Malt to their guests. While most were content with it as it was, "Gwonder" or curiosity once again led an Appenzell inhabitant to look for something even more special. Sepp Manser, the keeper of the Meglisalp mountain inn, did some research and found that special editions of Säntis Malt Whisky from special barrels were produced every now and then. So he asked if he could have one of these uniquely aged whiskies for his mountain inn. Brauerei Locher AG has always been open to new ideas, and so it was that the Meglisalp mountain restaurant was allowed to serve its own unique whisky in the summer of 2012. And what was anything but a crazy idea became an unexpected, runaway success.


The Trek is the Goal
Inspired by the great demand in Meglisalp, people began to think - both at the Locher AG brewery and in Sepp Manser’s mountain inn. So they sat down together and considered how the success story in the Meglisalp mountain restaurant could be turned into a success for the whole Alpstein region and thus for the Association of Appenzell Mountain Innkeepers (Appenzeller Bergwirteverein). The people of Appenzell have long known that everyone feels better when everyone is doing well. So the idea of the Whisky Trek was born.


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