From Säntis Malt to the Whisky Trek – follow the trail of the water of life


The Whisky Trek will undoubtedly set the pulse racing of any whisky collector or connoisseur. In fact, you can now upgrade a hike in beautiful surroundings or multiple tours in the Alpstein by adding that something extra for whisky lovers.
Since May 2015, visitors to the Alpstein mountains in the Appenzell Alps can embark on the highest whisky trek in the world. The brainchild of the Locher brewery – famous for its Säntis Malt whisky – and the Bergwirte-Verein Alpstein (Alpstein mountain landlords’ association), the trek offers whisky-tasting like you’ve never experienced it before.
Sepp Manser, landlord at the Berggasthaus Meglisalp mountain inn, came up with the idea of creating a whisky trek when he decided to serve up his own, unique version of Säntis Malt in 2012. His idea very swiftly became a reality – all 26 of the associated local mountain inns have now joined the trail, each with their very own barrel of whisky on hand for on-site tasting.
Each of these barrels of whisky contains the same basic distillate, Säntis Malt made by the Locher brewery. But that’s where the similarity ends: Each of the barrels is unique, differing from the others in the type of wood used in its construction and its previous contents. The barrels are made from American, Portuguese, French or Russian oak, and were previously filled with desert wine, Merlot, Pinot noir, Sauvignon, Gamay, Zweigelt, port, sherry, rum, bourbon, damson schnapps or even beer. This diversity results in 26 totally unique flavours along the Appenzell Whisky Trek.
Just seeing the barrels is an experience, not to mention the tasting of the whisky itself. As well as varying in flavour, the different whiskies each boast a different colour, with shades ranging from amber and white gold through to rose gold and deep copper.
The exclusivity of the unique whiskies is upheld by ensuring that they are only available to taste in the individual mountain inn or to buy in small (1dl) or large (5dl) “one-of-a-kind” bottles, each signed personally by the “cask keeper” – the landlord.
The Appenzell Whisky Trek has a brand-new attraction:
an exclusive new trophy that you can see and even wear! If you collect all 26 whiskies on the Alpstein whisky trek, you’ll be rewarded with a new “finisher trophy” – an original Appenzell belt with a genuine silver buckle, designed by Alpine saddler Roger Dörig. This reward replaces all previous collectors’ activities. 
As of 25 June 2021, every 100ml bottle of whisky you buy now comes with a “Fass-Bon”, or “barrel token”, which can be detached and stuck into the Whisky Trek collector’s pass. Once your pass is full, you will be rewarded with an exclusive leather belt featuring a genuine silver buckle, crafted by artisan leatherworker Roger Dörig (valued at CHF 350). You can choose the colour and length of your belt. The Whisky Trek belt buckle is only available as a Whisky Trek trophy and is not available for purchase. The campaign will run until the end of the 2023 season
The collector’s pass is available from participating mountain inns and from the Locher brewery’s “Brauquöll” visitors’ centre on Brauereiplatz in Appenzell. The belt can also be ordered there, or from Roger Dörig’s shop.
Old, expired Whisky Trek coupons are no longer valid but can be exchanged for a free 100ml bottle in the “Brauquöll” centre. The centre also still sells the decorative 9-bottle wooden storage shelf, which can be used to display your collection of treasures. 
We hope you enjoy this true feast for the senses in the Alpstein mountains, where the whisky is as breathtakingly unique as the surrounding scenery.

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General info

  • Suitable for: Groups

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