Filliers distillery in Belgium produces a range of drinks and spirits including jenever, gin and whisky. They have produced the first ever Belgian double-still whisky under the name Goldlys, and were the first distillery in Belgium to begin maturing whisky.
The distillery is situated in Bachte-Maria-Leerne, near Deinze, and not far from the city of Ghent in the province of East Flanders. The Filliers family began distilling jenever back in the 18th century when Karel Lodewijk Filliers decided to branch out from his career in farming. More than five generations later, the family is still producing quality spirits.
Their jenevers, to this day, are made from malt wine distilled on site in copper stills. They produce Oude Graanjenever; 'oude' meaning that the older production method is used, resulting in a far more flavourful spirit and 'graan' meaning only malt and grain are used.
In 1928, Firmin Filliers—part of the third generation of distillers—created the small-batch Fillers Dry Gin 28, using 28 botanicals in addition to juniper. His formula is still used today. Further products developed included advocaat, fruit jenevers, cream jenevers and vodka.
Filliers were also the first distillery in Belgium to begin maturing whisky and the first to release double-still Belgian whisky (another Belgium distillery, The Owl Distillery, produces younger single malt whisky). Goldlys, as Filliers' whisky is called, takes its name from the nearby River Lys, which used to take on a golden hue on account of decomposing flax in the water!
Like Filliers' jenever, Goldlys is produced using both pot and column stills but without the addition of the selected juniper distillates. There are now a number of expressions available that have been aged in oak barrels for over ten years as well as single cask releases.