The First Swiss Whisky protected by an NFT

04 Nov, 2022
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The First Swiss Whisky protected by an NFT

Appenzell-based brewery Locher is introducing a Swiss first in collaboration with the startup Authena: “Karl Locher’s 60th – Founder’s Anniversary Reserve,” a limited edition of 60 bottles of the Swiss Säntis malt whisky, is secured by Authena both physically and in metaverse via blockchain. NFT Digital Rights turn the individual bottles into distinctive collectibles and NFC tags make them tamper-proof. The well-known Appenzell painter, Martin Fuchs, has created an exclusive painting for this special edition, which shows selected landscapes from Appenzell in 60 different scenes. The painting shows the beauty of Appenzell, the home of Säntis Malt and its founder Karl Locher. With the purchase of an anniversary whisky, one simultaneously becomes the owner of a corresponding NFT painting, which is an integral part of the purchased bottle and can only be freely traded in conjunction with it.

This Brauerei Locher’s exclusive release has been produced in a limited and numbered edition of 60 bottles. It is dedicated to the 60th anniversary of Karl Locher himself, who initiated this project. An outstanding single malt has been composed of the distillate of eight different exclusive casks, matured in the largest whisky cellar in Switzerland. The “Karl Locher’s 60th – Founder’s Anniversary Reserve” contains the first Swiss single malt whisky, which has been in-house distilled and matured in historic, 80- to 140-year-old beer casks. These have previously written brewing history and give the whiskey its distinctive flavor and color. The 60 whisky bottles are a personal statement by Karl Locher and tell the company and family history in their own and authentic way.

Bottle and image belong inseparably together

“Innovation always starts in the mind with a bold idea and the courage to take risks. The idea for this limited edition arose in a conversation with Authena about novel technical possibilities of an NFT insert, in which real objects can be secured and inseparably encoded with virtual images. The picture accompanying the whisky shows an Appenzell landscape, where essential raw materials for the production of these exclusive whiskies come from,” says Karl Locher, owner of Brauerei Locher and founder of the renowned Säntis Malt. Karl Locher works with 40 Swiss farmers who grow malting barley at higher altitudes in Appenzell and Bündnerland (1100-1400 m.a.s.l.), which, along with spring water from the Alpstein, finds its use in the whisky.

The first Swiss whisky on the blockchain

The information about the respective whisky bottle can be accessed at any time by using a smartphone to read the physical digital NFC seal integrated into the bottle. At the heart of the system is Authena’s blockchain-based technology, which makes it virtually impossible to counterfeit exclusive bottles by sealing them with an NFC seal. As soon as the bottle is opened and thus the seal is damaged, a corresponding message appears the next time the NFC tag is read by any user via smartphone.

This technical solution offers the greatest security to the clientele and at the same time enables permanent interaction between the involved parties and the final product. “This new crypto technology promises a new level of security for top global products. Our blockchain-based technology combined with physical-digital seals make product counterfeiting economically non-scalable and therefore unprofitable worldwide,” says Matteo Panzavolta, CEO of Authena AG.

Each of the 60 whisky bottles belonging to the “Karl Locher’s 60 – Founder’s Anniversary Reserve” limited edition is backed with an NFT. In this specific case, the NFT is used to provide the proof of authenticity and ownership of 1/60th of the total 60-piece picture from Appenzell by Martin Fuchs.

The associated NFT digital art and the respective bottle are thus inseparably linked, securely registered on blockchain and exclusive property of the bottle owner. All NFT owners of this special collection become members of an exclusive circle of friends at Brauerei Locher. As a member, you receive invitations to events, tours, special offers and subscriptions.

Brauerei Locher

The Locher AG brewery is the most sustainable brewery in Switzerland and, as a family business, has been independent for five generations. The innovative spirit of this specialty brewery is the source of its diversity and high quality far beyond the well-known beer specialties such as Quöllfrisch. It is the only brewery in Switzerland to employ ten people in the development, production, and distribution of high-quality food products made from by-products, independently of its core business.

The Whisky from Brauerei Locher

Until 1999, it was forbidden in Switzerland to produce distilled beverages from grain or potatoes (basic foodstuffs). The law in question was repealed on July 1, 1999. A year earlier, the Locher Brewery started production of Appenzeller Säntis Malt under the strict supervision of the Alcohol Board. In 2002, the first whisky was launched on the market. For the production of the whisky, among other things, grain from Swiss mountain areas and spring water from the Alpstein are used. Brauerei Locher is the only in the world to store its beer in oak barrels that are up to 150 years old. These barrels have handed down decades of brewing and tapping traditions from over 100 breweries in continental Europe. Its distillates regularly receive prizes and awards at international competitions. The “Trinity” edition was named the best whisky in Europe by Jim Murray in 2010 with 95 points out of 100.


Authena is the world’s leading provider of blockchain-based authenticity and traceability-as-a-service solutions that enable infrastructure-free end-to-end communication between producers and end consumers. Headquartered in Zug, Switzerland, the startup was founded in 2018 and employs 22 people internationally. The company combats counterfeiting, parallel imports and detours of e.g. pharmaceutical and premium products worldwide. Using active and passive IoT devices , such as NFC physical-digital seals, brands can guarantee the authenticity of their products, detect unauthorized interactions with their goods in real time, and communicate their sustainability efforts directly to their consumers. Authena is committed to ecological and transparent production lines and sustainable trade systems.

What is NFT and how does it work?

If you want to learn how to protect luxury goods with NFT and what NFT is and how it works, you can read all about it in this article “SAFELY PAIRING A LUXURY PRODUCT WITH AN NFT IN THE METAVERSE TO PROTECT IT FROM COUNTERFEITING“.

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