‘Handmade goods for finer living’ is a widely recognised slogan amongst those who enjoy the finer things in life: high-quality, handcrafted products are made at Wolfram Ortner’s distillery and coffee company in the Carinthian Nock-Land region. The products are available in the WOB shop there or online (www.wob.at). The ‘World Spirits’ brand has also been making waves, and its inclusive concept has certainly contributed to the improvement of international spirit culture. The latest additions are ‘World Spirits Tasting Videos’ for TV stations and YouTube.
It all started in 1989 with the aim of producing perfect distillates, setting trends and leaving a recognisable WOB mark through innovation. Distillates, drugs, coffee and cigar distillates, essences, ‘parfum de vie’ and more on the one side – a creative span from glass design to the perfect Café dö WOB on the other. Ortner’s mark is evident in every product. The rum boom started in 2016 with a white and a blond light rum; in the first year, six different barrels were produced and primarily stored in barrique made of Limousin oak.
On 25 November 2019 there was an explosion at the distillery, changing the course of the company even before the passionate distiller’s 60th birthday. The large site with the fermentation tanks suffered total destruction, and now the distilling room is adorned with a little copper still in memory of successful times. The ‘exit scenario’ of the master distiller is defined: a lot is still waiting in the barrel until optimal maturation – from rum to damson, apple, wine yeast and whisky. Individual specialities such as gin will be continued to be distilled at a related distillery – but the distillery will be closed on Ortner’s 65th birthday.
At the World Spirits Award, there was gold for KGB Kräuter-Gewürz Bitter, Dark Premium Rum Batch 2 and Dark Rum Batch 3 Cask Strength.
92 WOB-Punkte – KGB Kräuter-Gewürz Bitter 2019 - Gold
Fragrance: Elegant spice and herb portfolio, fresh and fruity fruit aromas in the background, coffee, Tonka bean, citrus, bitter orange, black tea, vermouth, mint, lemon balm, gingerbread spices. Taste: Very typical herb and spice concept, balanced, stimulating bitter and sweet interplay, citrus, yarrow, hyssop, Tonka bean, a lot of roots in the basis, gentian, angelica root, thyme, cloves, cinnamon, anise, nutmeg, bitter orange peel, somewhat rum-like, discreet sugar sweetness, subtly warming ginger pungency, full-bodied, long-lasting finish.
90,7 WOB-Punkte – Dark Premium Rum Batch 2 2016 - Gold
Fragrance: Very typical variety characteristic, strong interplay of rum ester and fruit ester, slightly yeasty and strawberry-like, associations of bourbon barrel, heavily charred wood, a lot of sweet and warm aromas, coconut, pineapple, vanilla, cocoa, cinnamon, banana, artichoke, rosehip, mango. Taste: Fruity and estery transition on the palate, massive banana ester, rosehip, citrus, pineapple, green aspects, mango peel, artichoke, leather, coffee, chocolate, caramel, very dry, still a lot of tannin, sweet and warm wood notes, very harmonious, full-bodied and long.
93,7 WOB-Punkte – Dark Rum Batch 3 Cask Strength 2016 - Gold
Fragrance: Very concise rum handwriting, strong interplay of rum ester and fruit ester, slightly yeasty and strawberry-like, ripe and banana-like, reminiscent of bourbon barrel ageing, heavily charred wood, a lot of sweet and warm aromas, toffee, Tonka bean, vanilla, coconut, pineapple, cocoa, cinnamon, artichoke, rosehip. Taste: Powerful and compact, fruity and estery aromas, powerful banana ester, yeasty-malty, delicate citrus and orange notes, pineapple, rosehip, artichoke, slightly green and ashy accents, leather and tobacco-like, coffee, dark chocolate, caramel, very dry, still a lot of tannin, wonderful wood sweetness, very harmonious, full-bodied and long.