Summerton Whisky Club’s August 2023 Club Bottle
Stauning Danish Whisky Small Batch
It started as a question on a weekend trip in May 2005, “why does no one in Denmark make whisky?”
Stauning Whisky, one of the distilleries leading the charge for New World Whisky, is the result of what can happen when a group of friends with different backgrounds combine their passion and effort in an experiment to push the boundaries of whisky making. The nine friends (a doctor, a teacher, a chef, a butcher, a helicopter pilot, and four engineers) had a vision: A 100% Danish whisky, one which reflected the place and could stand comparison to the finest from around the world.
Despite starting without any experience, by August 2006 the friends had their first drops of spirit coming from their stills in a butchery in the small village of Stauning on the West Coast of Denmark (population 364).
By 2009 they had outgrown the butchery and converted a nearby farmhouse to become their new distillery. This bigger space came with challenges. The most important thing was to maintain the character of spirit produced. The decision was made to keep control of every step of the process in-house, but with nine curious people – four being engineers – this also meant looking for innovative ways to overcome individual challenges, such as their Malt Turner that replicates the traditional labour intensive flour malting process with the use of a unique to Stauning machine.
These unique solutions and ways of working have stayed with them as they have grown, where the engineers have overseen all aspects of the design and build to create a new one-of-a-kind distillery.
This innovation is not just focussed on their buildings and machinery, it is seen in every aspect of what they do, such as the progression of their core whisky releases over time, with each batch a slight evolution of the last.
There are two areas of this innovation that I wanted to focus on with this Club Bottle…smoke and casks.
Those that were Members for our April 2021 Club Bottle will remember that we shared Stauning’s rye whisky, our first taste of both Danish and rye whisky. At the time their focus on experimenting with all cask styles they can get hold of impressed me and their use of heather in the smoking process intrigued me.
Having learnt more about what was possible I set them a challenge, I wanted to create a single malt that showed off what heather smoke can bring to a whisky as a starting point, after which I asked them to be their innovative best with casks to make the greatest whisky they could.
To do this they have brought together thirteen casks, all smoked barley using heather, peat, or a mix of both. These casks include new American Oak, ex-Bourbon, Rivesaltes and Moscatel wine casks, as well as a first to me, mead casks, to create a complex single malt whisky unlike anything I’ve had before.
I hope you enjoy and savour this whisky.
Member’s Photo Competition
As always we will be running our Member’s Photo Competition. To enter, share a picture with your bottle on Facebook, Instagram or Twitter, tag us (@SummertonClub) and use #SummertonWhiskyShots. Every picture you share gets you an entry and there’s no limit to how many times you can enter.
Entries start from the afternoon of Tuesday 22nd August, please don’t post before as it might ruin the surprise for other members.