One of the only single estate whisky distilleries in the world - 100% organic and family owned. Our vision has always been to create the world's best whisky from the fields around us.
The Gyrup family estate is the home of our distillery, our own organic farm, our family and our lives. We grow all the grains used in the making of our whiskies. In our malthouse, we have enough room to make organic malt for a number of other Danish and international breweries and distilleries.
Our distillery is located in Thy in the north-western corner of Denmark. Thy is where our hearts are. It is the place we get our inspiration and it is where we seized the opportunity to create one of the very few single estate whisky distilleries in the world - where we have full control over every step of production from field to bottle.
Jakob Stjernholm, Co-owner, 8th generation
Thy is surrounded by water and breathtaking nature. With windswept coasts and sand dunes along the North Sea and behind them the heath, lakes, plantations and forests with their flocks of bellowing stags. To the east, the landscape is covered by grain fields all the way down to the Limfjord, where you can gather oysters and mussels - and catch lobster.
The salty westerly winds and the powerful contrasts in the landscape runs thick in the blood of all who hail from Thy. In these inspiring surroundings, we make both single malt whisky - some with a smouldering smokiness and others of a more soft and sweet character - and rye whisky with spiced floral aromas that remind us of the surrounding heather heath in full bloom.
Our whisky is created from organic grains from our own fields. All production takes place here on the estate.
We source our grains from our own organic fields right outside the distillery doors. We select both modern grains and distinctive heritage varieties of Danish barley for our whiskies.
All grains are organic - this is important to us. Organic farming creates greater biodiversity on the 500 hectares of land that make up the estate and keeps the water in our wells clean. We want to leave our lands clean and fertile for the next generation.
Instead of using pesticides and fertilizers, we use crop rotation, catch crops and natural manure to continuously improve the fertility of the land.
The type of grain you use in your whisky plays an important role. We believe that the variety, the soil and the year it was harvested influences the taste of the whisky.
We grow both modern and heritage grain varieties in our fields, because we can taste the difference.
Consider, for instance, the barley variety Imperial. It was cultivated in Denmark in the early 1800s. In the 1920s, it disappeared, replaced by higher yield varieties.
We've reintroduced this grain variety in our fields after a century in hibernation in a deep freezer at the Nordic gene bank. Imperial is ideal for organic farming and produces a distinctive, flavourful whisky with fresh green and citrus aromas, which you won't find with modern barley varieties.
Every single kernel used in our whisky is germinated in our three malting drums which we designed and built ourselves. During germination, we gently roll the 6 tonnes of barley in each drum, while the natural enzymes in the grain to build up and convert the starches in the grain into fermentable sugars.
During the nine-day malting process - using just grain and clean water - we create most of the aromatic compounds that characterise our organic new make.
During the last two days, we kiln the malt and add smoke, which settles in the grain and husks and adds character to our smoked whiskies.
We smoke our malt with beechwood - according to Danish smoking traditions.
In our mash tun, we brew 1,000 litres of 'wort' per batch with 8-9% alcohol content in each brew.
The process starts by crushing 240 kg of the selected malt into a 'coarse flour' and mixing it with 740 litres of hot water so we end up with a temperature of about 65°C. After stirring for 45 minutes, the malt enzymes have broken down the starches into fermentable sugars (maltose), which are dissolved in the water along with many of the aromas from the grain.
The sugary wort is then drained from the remaining husks, cooled and transferred to a fermentation tank. We sparge with more hot water to extract as much sugar and flavour as possible from the grain. The whole process takes 3-4 hours for each brew.
|WASHBACK STYLE:||Open, SS|
|WASHBACK SIZE:||1,000 litres|
|FERMENTATION TIME:||4-6 days|
|YEAST TYPE:||Fermentis SafSpirit M1|
When the fully fermented wort is brought to the boil in our 1,000 liter copper still, relatively more alcohol than water evaporates. When those vapours are re-condensed in the condenser, we end up with a distillate with a high alcohol content.
Our distillation process is unconventional in that we create our finished new make in just a single distillation - as opposed to the usual two or three distillations. We use an extra condenser (purifier), which condenses some water vapours and the heavy oils in the process and sends them back into the pot.
The vapours that pass through the still thus produce a purer alcohol, while at the same time bring a higher intensity of malt and grain aromas directly from the boiling wort than is achieved with traditional distillation methods.
Single distillation is particularly good at capturing the differences in the grains and malts we work with. Each barley variety and malt type tastes different.
The last and longest leg of the journey is in the oak casks. While the whisky rests in our warehouse, year after year, flavour and colour are extracted from the oak and from remaining impression of bourbon, sherry or malt whisky has previously aged in the casks.
Over the years the gradual maturation of the spirit also takes place. It requires an interaction between the whisky in the cask or the air outside. Through oxidative processes called esterification, the whisky changes character and becomes smoother and rounder in taste.
|NEW OAK (RYE)|
Octaves + experiments
The casks have a long life in our warehouse. Always exposed to the natural climate of Thy.
Perforations in the facade provide natural ventilation and invite the westerly winds inside. Be it the damp and salty western winds of winter or the delightful southern breezes of summer, the temperature and humidity in the warehouse follows the weather outside, which leaves its mark on each cask.
We regularly take samples in the warehouse so we can follow the development of each cask.
Each cask in our warehouse is the result of a selected combination of grains, malt types, fermentation and distillation processes as well as cask type, size and maturation time. And yet we find the recognisable character of Thy Whisky in every drop.
When we judge that one or more casks are about ready for bottling, it's time to create the finished whisky. We try to blend the whisky from different casks (vatting) and at different alcohol strengths, and decide from this whether the whisky should be bottled as a single cask or as a larger bottling.
We bottle all our whiskies as limited bottlings, respecting the particular qualities of each cask - with a preference for alcohol strengths above 47% and sometimes at cask strength.
BOTTLING THE WHISKY
The bottling of a new whisky is the culmination of years of careful work. It's a day of celebration, where we gather to enjoy the aroma and taste of the new member of our family.
We bottle each whisky with our own hands.
Every bottle is numbered and fully traceable. You'll find full details about the whisky's origin on each bottle.