Ærø Whisky: Ærø has everything needed to make a world-class whisky
Text: Signe Hansen | Photos © Ærø Whisky
Exclusively using produce from Ærø, a small Danish island of 88 square kilometres, Ærø Whisky aspires to make one of the world’s best whiskies.
Created by former ship’s captain and Ærø resident Michael Nielsen in 2013, Ærø Whisky is distilled from locally grown barley and matured in oak casks from the island. “It was a bit of a coincidence that I discovered that Ærø has everything needed for whisky production, good barley and the oak needed for the casks,” he says. “That’s all I needed, so I created a cooperative, bought two tonnes of grain, and got started.”
In 2017, the company produced its first 5,000 bottles, and this year, Ærø Whisky is expecting to produce around 8,000 bottles.
With everything from bottle design to oak casks made locally, Ærø’s character and nature define both the taste and the brand of Ærø Whisky. “Our ambition is to make a supreme whisky from Ærø. As a matter of fact, the goal is to make one of the best whiskies in the world – I don’t want to say the best, because in the end, it’s a matter of taste,” stresses Nielsen. “For instance, some whiskies are very smoky whereas ours doesn’t have any of that, and that’s simply because Ærø doesn’t have any peat in the underground, and we want everything in the production to be local.”
With bottles selling out within the first four months of production, it appears the taste of Ærø is a good match for a whisky. Indeed, even though the bottles are not, admits Nielsen, amongst the cheapest, whisky enthusiasts have taken quite a fancy to the small distillery. “We might actually be the most expensive whisky produced in Denmark,” Nielsen confides, and rounds off: “It’s definitely not for those who like a whisky and coke – but for real whisky nerds: our bottles have become a bit of a collectors’ item.”
Facts: Ærø Whisky is sold exclusively through the company’s web shop. Ærø Whisky is owned cooperatively by 370 shareholders. People interested in becoming a shareholder can find more information through the website. Web: www.aeroewhisky.com
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