DANISH WHISKEY - U.S. DISTRIBUTION EXPECTED IN 2021
Per Gregersen - Horsens, DenmarkThe author drove all over Denmark to meet the people behind the Danish whiskey fairytale. Tusind tak, Per, for writing this article about his book for our NFDA readers!
Danish whiskey - why? Shouldn't the Danes settle for brewing beer for the whole world, and let the Scots handle the whiskey? Why would the Danes even make whiskey?
In reality, the question should be: Why have the Danes not been making whiskey for decades? Our climate is quite similar to Scotland, and we have a long tradition for producing and selling high quality food products. These years more and more distilleries scattered throughout Denmark have started a serious whiskey production, many of them organic, and the results have been brilliant. Danish whiskey has won prestigious awards at competitions abroad, and every year consumers in more and more countries are getting interested. Large parts of Europe have already opened their doors, one manufacturer has its own YouTube channel in China, and in spring 2021 North America will also be included in the list.
Photo at right: The roots of it all: The good Danish grain.
Danish whisky is developing rapidly. Therefore, the idea of writing a book about this new Danish delicacy and all the enthusiasts behind it arose. In the book "Dansk Whisky", released in October 2019, we have visited and spoken to all of the (by then) 18 producers – as of today that number has risen to more than 20 – and we have enjoyed both the wonderful tastings and the many good stories behind every bottle. These stories include:
How Denmark's now largest whiskey producer began as a fun hobby project for nine friends in a disused butcher shop in West Jutland and today has 18 employees and the world's largest producer of beer, wine and spirits as co-owner (www.stauningwhisky.com ).
Photo at left: A few of the many new pot stills at Stauning Whisky – handcrafted whisky at a large scale.
How a former manufacturer of high quality audio speakers gave up a life's work at his company and moved across the country to start his own distillery – simply because he had a dream, plus the water quality at south east Funen was just perfect (www.mosgaardwhisky.dk ).
Photo at right: The owner and founder of Mosgaard Whisky, Jes Mosgaard. His organic whiskies have received several international awards.
How two brothers invested a good part of the proceeds from the sale of their family business, desiring to create the perfect whiskey remembering their annual fishing trips to Scotland” (www.braunstein.dk ).
How the 8th generation on a family farm has supplemented the production of organic milk and grain with award-winning whiskey, which also includes old and almost forgotten Danish types of grain (www.thy-whisky.dk ).
How a former tax inspector, after a visit to Scotland, designed his own pot stills and then - as the only one in the world - decided to smoke his malting barley over nettles (www.farylochan.dk ).
Photo at left: At Fary Lochan, co-owner Morten Jørgensen gets ready to taste one of the many barrels stored underground.
How a salesperson of garden machines, after a number of visits to Kentucky and the surrounding states, became the only one in Denmark who makes bourbon the American style and lets it mature on boat trips across the Atlantic (www.knaplund.dk ).
How an old, worn-out train workshop was turned into a modern distillery with its own restaurant – and where you can also book a boat trip on the Storebælt with an old schooner (www.nyborgdestilleri.com ).
Photo at right: An old German coal train takes up a bit of room in the storage room at Nyborg Destilleri.
How Copenhagen's only whiskey producer has focused from the beginning on doing things their own way, and in whisky guru Jim Murray's Whisky Bible 2021 was named Danish Whisky of the Year (www.copenhagendistillery.com ).
And much, much more...
In short, Danish whiskey comes with heaps of good stories; and also stories about the very small producers. The stories can be read in the book (which, alas, is only available in Danish), but of course it will be obvious to supply the reading with a visit and a tour of one of the many exciting distilleries next time your holiday takes you to Denmark.
Order the book online
If you want to thoroughly prepare for your tour, the book can be ordered online directly from the publisher: www.byensforlag.dk/product/city-whisky, where a reading sample is available. You can also find the book and a large selection of good Danish whiskey at www.whisky.dk. And, of course, each distillery has its own website.
Photo at right: One of the Danish distilleries, Nordisk Brænderi, close to the rugged coastline of Northern Jutland.
Enjoy – and remember to plan a distillery visit the next time you visit Denmark. They deserve the attention - and you won't regret it. - Per Gregersen
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