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Issue 146 - Riding the wave

Whisky Magazine Issue 146
September 2017

 

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Riding the wave

A round up of Europe's whisky nations

Whisky can be made anywhere in the world where grain can be grown, a supply of clean and pure water is at hand and yeast can be delivered to order. So why not on the European continent? Since the end of the 1980s the sales of whisky have seen steady growth. Many small distilleries and breweries in Europe, more often than not family-owned, decided to ride that wave. Along with schnapps, gin, fruit liqueurs, vodka and brandy they set their stills to produce a grain distillate. Most West-European countries are home to distilleries that have gone that route. Let's have a look at the different nations that produce whisky, in alphabetical order. In the space allotted to this article it is not possible to touch on everyone; please understand that I also appreciate the efforts of those not mentioned.

Austria The pioneer among Austrian whisky distillers is Johan Heider, who started to make whisky in 1995, in Roggenreith. The same year Reisetbauer in Kirchberg came on steam. The year 2002 witnessed the birth of Destillerie Weutz in St Nikola im Saustal and 2004 Old Raven. Today they are joined by a baker's dozen of liqueur and schnapps producers who all make some small amounts of whisky as well on the side.

Belgium The Belgian Owl in Liege is the front-runner in this country. Gin manufacturer Filliers of Bachte makes a whisky called Goldlys. Two other small players are Radermacher in Raeren and Gouden Carolus/Het Anker in Mechelen.

Czech Republic The Czechs have been around in ...

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