The Rugenbräu upland beer brewery has been family-owned for more than 150 years. Now, it is home to both brewing and distilling – the only such place in Switzerland! Their whisky, the Swiss Mountain single malt, thus benefits from decades of expertise gained in beer production.
The first experiments with in-house bottling began in 1999. An in-house distillery was eventually installed and put into operation directly above the brewery in 2010, with two pot stills. One of these has a capacity of 1,000 litres, making the distillery the biggest in the country! The new spirit is matured in old Oloroso sherry barrels in the depths of Rugen’s rock cellar, which dates from 1875. It forms the basis of the company’s ‘Classic’ malt. In addition, there are nine barrels constantly maturing in an ice cave on the Jungfraujoch at 3,454 metres above sea level – another feature unique to the brewery. These become ‘Ice Label’, a limited-edition, unfiltered, single-cask whisky that is bottled for sale at cask strength once a year. This whisky has won its category and been named ‘Whisky of the Year’ at DistiSuisse. The brand’s ‘Classic’ whisky is also award-winning.
The range is supplemented by the ‘Master Distiller’ editions, the popular ‘Double Barrel’, and the ‘Rock Label’ launched in 2019. A whisky liqueur is the icing on the cake. As part of innovation and company development work, in 2018 a whisky was matured in the Tropenhaus Frutigen tropical house, making this the first whisky distillery anywhere in the world to be maturing whiskies in ice, rock cellars and the tropics within a single region. Once a year, whisky maturers are also invited to an exclusive tasting of whisky from their very own top-quality whisky barrel – an unmissable experience.