Whisky Reviews: Puni The Italian Malt Whisky

By Melissa Jones / December 28, 2020

Editor’s Note: These whiskies were provided to us as review samples by Puni. This in no way, per our editorial policiesinfluenced the final outcome of this review. It should also be noted that by clicking the buy links in this article our site receives a small referral payment which helps to support, but not influence, our editorial and other costs.

Puni The Italian Malt Whisky was started in 2010 when the architect Albrecht Ebensperger designed and built the distillery to mimic the look of a barn window. It melds tradition with a modern, elegant aesthetic.

At the heart of the distillery in Glorenza, Italy, are two pot stills that came from Rothes, Scotland. They were installed under the supervision of Scottish industry experts. Puni was also founded in an area much like the Scottish Highlands and named after a pure alpine river nearby in the Venosta Valley. Although the Puni name is not Gaelic like a Scottish distillery it is an ancient Raetic name that has a lot of local history.

The whisky is produced underground at the distillery site with the traditional Scottish stills and a very scientific heating and cooling system. “Instead of steam, overheated water is used to heat both stills. This makes it possible to control the temperatures very precisely during distillation and to be particularly careful when selecting only the best part of the spirit in the process.” This scientific innovation will hopefully continue to set Puni apart from other whisky.

The warm summers and cold winters are a perfect place to accelerate the aging of whisky. In less than four years they were able to produce two unique products. And in another year they had two more in the collection.

Puni malt whiskies

The malt whiskies of Italy’s Puni (image via Puni)

Tasting Notes: Gold Puni The Italian Malt Whisky

Vital Stats: Pure alpine water and 100% malt distilled in original Scottish Pot stills. Made in Glorenza Italy. Non-chill filtered. Natural color. Aged five years. 86 proof. Ex-Bourbon casks. $65.

Appearance: Thin and almost colorless like a white wine.

Nose: There’s not an overpowering nose. It’s not strong but subtle. There’s umami and herbs like sage and brine.

Palate: To me this was a very nondescript whisky. It’s light, thin, salty, and warm.

Score: 2.5/5

Thoughts: Gold reminds me of a summer day because it’s warm and smooth. The alcohol is not harsh. It’s a bit thin and not very complex. This is similar to a Japanese whisky like Nikka Days. This would make a great mixer.

Tasting Notes: Sole Puni The Italian Malt Whisky

Vital Stats: Pure alpine water and 100% malt distilled in original Scottish Pot stills. Made in Glorenza Italy. Non-chill filtered. Natural color. Aged four years. 92 proof. Ex-Bourbon and Pedro Ximénez Sherry casks. $85.

Appearance: Thin with color of a faint gold.

Nose: The nose was very pleasant like a custard with a lot of vanilla and a little citrus.

Palate: A butter cookie comes to mind. It’s a bit sweet like a bourbon with vanilla as the primary flavor coming through.

Score: 2.5/5

Thoughts: The flavors are subtle and buttery like a cookie but there’s a bitter aftertaste. It becomes better the more you sip it. It sips cheaper than the price tag on the bottle.

Tasting Notes: Vina Puni The Italian Malt Whisky

Vital Stats: Pure alpine water and 100% malt distilled in original Scottish Pot stills. Made in Glorenza Italy. Non-chill filtered. Natural color. Aged five years. 86 proof. Marsala Vergine casks. $71.

Appearance: The darkest of the four whiskies with an amber hue. A bit thinker than the others.

Nose: Salty, syrup, and very wine forward. There were aged and overripe fruits like plum.

Palate: The mouthfeel was very heavy. It was very syrupy. The flavors were a lot like a whisky flavored with Port. The port really came through.

Score: 3/5

Thoughts: Vina seems more like a wine than a whisky. It tastes very much like port. The heavy port mouthfeel lingers on your tongue. It’s like drinking wine with a little bourbon. This would be a great whisky for wine lovers.

Tasting Notes: Alba Puni The Italian Malt Whisky

Vital Stats: Pure alpine water and 100% malt distilled in original Scottish Pot stills. Made in Glorenza Italy. Non-chill filtered. Natural color. Aged three years. 86 proof. Marsala & Islay Scotch casks. $95.

Appearance: Old gold in color and a bit thin.

Nose: A campfire by the sea. There was heavy smoke, brine, and ocean tide.

Palate: The flavors of Alba came through as charcoal and peat. It was bitter and smoky like a campfire. There was a burnt pineapple aftertaste.

Score: 2/5

Thoughts: Alba reminded me a lot of the ocean at low tide while there’s a campfire burning beside you. The finish is unlike anything I’ve ever tasted. It’s a scotch imposter. It tasted like a scotch flavored Italian whisky. A good winter whisky.