We’ve long enjoyed the fine rye whiskies from Denmark’s Stauning so we were particularly excited about a bottle that has just landed at MoM HQ. Called Stauning Høst, it’s a rye malt mixture that offers a smooth and affordable introduction to Danish whisky.

Stauning whisky

Ever seen 24 small copper pot stills in a distillery before?

The Stauning story

If there was a template for the opening of a craft distillery, Stauning might just about take the biscuit. Founded in May 2005 by a doctor, a butcher, a teacher, a helicopter pilot, and four engineers, it began life operating out of a slaughterhouse owned by the teacher. Just kidding, it was the butcher. 

The lads sourced from a local farmer which they peated on a grill in the smokehouse. The cold store was used for floor malting, the grist was minced in the meat grinder, and distillation occurred in two small wood-fired pots stills. Money was raised to buy a farm and they turned it into a small distillery in 2007.

It was enough to turn Diageo’s head, which acquired a minority stake in 2015. Around £50 million of investment later and by 2018, Stauning was able to open the doors to Denmark’s first purpose-built whisky distillery. It still manages to source its rye and barley from farms within a 9-12 mile radius, and peats around 25% of its grain, sourced locally, of course. In order to preserve Stauning’s unique character, they still use small stills from Abercrombie in Scotland but now there are 24 of them. If you want to know more about Stauning, we recommend you read Adam’s in-depth article on the distillery.

Stauning HØST Danish Whisky

Stauning Høst 

Up until now the distillery has specialised in big-flavoured, high ABV rye whiskies as well as some peated malts. And amazing they are too. Stunning you might say. Now, however, Stauning has released a whisky that’s a little gentler and at a more accessible price, though don’t worry, there’s no shortage of character.

I went along to an event at a florist in Bloomsbury to meet Martin Vesterby, one of the co-founders of Stauning. He told me that Stauning Høst  – which means Harvest in Danish – is a marriage of rye malt whisky and single malt, distilled from fields just a few miles away, with each grain floor-malted at the distillery.  The floor maltings is all automatic rather than being manned by Scotsman with dodgy shoulders. The whole distillery is like that, a mixture of traditional methods like wood-fired stills, with up to date technology. 

The whisky was aged in bourbon and heavily charred new American white oak casks before being finished in Port casks. It’s not short of that aromatic rye character that Stauning fans will love but it’s sweet and smooth on the palate. In short, it’s Stauning that will appeal to lovers of fruity single malts and high quality blends and a great introduction to the brand.

While we think it’ll be a great mixer, it  has more than enough complexity to be enjoyed neat as well. In short, it’s another Stauning whisky. Sorry!

Stauning Høst Danish whisky is available from Master of Malt. Click on links for price and to buy. 

Tasting note from The Chaps at Master of Malt

Nose: Cherries, cinnamon, liquorice, fudge and a bittersweet orange note.

Palate: Smooth and sweet with gentle aromatic making spices, menthol, apple and toffee.

Finish: Lingering spices, and salted caramel.