Friday, November 11, 2016

Around The Whisk(e)y World In 7 Days - Friday - Day #5

Distillery: Fary Lochan
Located: Give, Denmark
By: Hasse Berg 

When talking about Danish whisky distilleries, there are usually 2 distilleries that come to mind. Braunstein and especially Stauning, now where Diageo has invested $15,5 million US dollar in the company and Jim Murray gave his Liquid Gold Award to Stauning’s Young Rye, in his 2014 edition of the whisky bible, but there are other whisky distilleries in Denmark, that sadly don’t get the same kind of attention, and one of them are Fary Lochan.

The Danish distillery Fary Lochan is one of the smallest whisky distilleries in the world, if not the smallest, located in the small Danish village Farre, near Give in Jutland, Denmark. The Distillery is situated out in the countryside, right by a steam. 

In the year of 1475 the village Farre was called Fary, which means “The hill by the crossing of Omme Burn”. At this exact spot Fary Lochan distillery is located.

Fary Lochan is truly a “micro distillery”, and as mentioned one of the smallest in the world. When they started out in 2009, Fary Lochan produced 3.000 bottles a year, now a day, they produces 14.000.

I guess a lot of us whisk(e)y fans has one thing in common, the dream of one day opening up a distillery. For the founder and distiller Jens-Erik Jørgensen dreaming wasn't enough. While visiting Edradour Distillery in Scotland, he discovered the similarity to his own village. The Forrest, the steam and the rough climate, and decided right there and then, to start building his own distillery, and running it accordance to Scottish traditions, when he returned back home.

Instead of crowd founding, which is a popular method among upcoming new distillery owners, to raise money for their distillery, Jens-Erik created Fary Lochan as a shareholding company, selling 500 individual stocks for $500USD each, raising a total amount of $225.000USD. In Octobers 2009 the Fary Lochan distillery was build, and on New Year’s Eve 2009 Jens-Erik filled his first barrels for maturing.
Fary Lochan is divided into 3 buildings. A tasting room, a stock house and the still house, containing a 300 liters wash still and a 200 liters spirit still, made especially for Fary Lochan by the famous coppersmiths Forsythes in Rothes, Scotland, who produces pot and column distillation plants, for some of the biggest players in the whisky world. In the basement of the still house, lays Warehouse no 1, where the barrels are being matured.

New Spirits with Oak Stave
Fary Lochan uses a small part of their own malt, but like almost every other micro distilleries, Fary Lochan buys the majority of their malted barley. The barley that goes into Fary Lochan’s whiskies is bought at fa. Montons in England. The mashing takes 12 hours, and the fermentation process 5 entire days. If I’m not mistaken, the fermentation process normally takes around 48 hours, at most of the biggest whisky distilleries in the world.  
The first bottle was released back in September 2010, in a very limited release of 500 individual numbered bottles, and was truly something different. Jens-Erik had gotten the idea of adding a piece of oak, from used bourbon barrels, directly into the bottle of the new spirit, made from pure non-smoked malted barley. Letting the costumers decide when their new spirit was “matured enough”. Once again in 2011 and last in 2012, Fary Lochan released their “limited edition” new spirit with oak barrels in it.
Beside Fary Lochan’s line of 8 different Snaps, their Gin, Red & Rosé wines and New Spirits, Fary Lochan produces 4 different single malt whiskies, name after the 4 seasons. The cool thing about these 4 whiskies is that Fary Lochan produces their whiskies to be drunk within the season. Meaning that their summer malt is produced without smoke and bottled at 46% ABV, where their winter malt contains 15 ppm smoke and is bottled at none the less than 54% ABV, to keep you warm in the cold Danish winters.

Their 2 Edition batch of their “Fall” malt was released in March this year. It is matured in 1 quarter-cask and 4 ex Bourbon-casks. The 5 casks were married together for 3 months, before the whisky was bottled. It’s a Single Malts, and the oldest cask is 3 year and 10 months. It is bottled at 48% ABV and contains 1,5 ppm smoke. The Fary Lochan distillery is by the way, to my knowledge, the only distillery in the world that uses nettles, to smoke their barley. It is, once again, a very limited release of only 1.700 50cl. bottles, all individual numbered, and (in my opinion a real stroke of genius) Fary Lochan made 1.000 5cl bottles from the same whisky. So, if you don’t want to pay $90USD for a 50cl. almost 4 year old Danish whisky, you are able to buy and taste the exact same whisky, in the exact same miniature-whisky bottle, as the 50cl. “fall” bottle.

Fary Lochan. Batch 2. Efterår (Fall)
Danish Single Malt Whisky

Distillery: Fary Lochan
Region: Denmark
Age: 3 years
Proof/ABV: 46%
DK Price: $90USD/595dkk
Release: 2016. Ongoing

Points: 76/100

My first thought is; Very nice! Very nice indeed sir! Really accommodating nose, with no alcohol burn at all, though this whisky is bottled at 46% ABV. Light headed and very straight forward, with an isolated scent of freshly picked pear, not like the more synthetic candied fruit scent. I know this is Fary Lochan’s Fall release, but the nose is sparkling fresh, and has that summer feel to it, yet it got a deeper layer under the surface, which is very earthly, like wet soil in a greenhouse. I could move permanent into that scent! Man, I hope the palate can live up to the nose!

Oily, a bit dry and nicely mouth coating. It’s a very cut clean whisky, with a faint taste of orange. Other than that, there’s not a lot I can pick up on.

Medium finish, dark chocolate, and a lot of black peppers, that lingers.

Overall impression:
The whiskies young age is defiantly playing a big part in the lacking flavors in the palate, and Fary Lochan isn’t located in an environment, that quickly transient its flavors into the casks, like for example the sea does. It’s an overall pleasant whisky, with a god given nose, and I’m a firm believer, that given the right amount of years, Fary Lochan’s whisky can develop into something great. I for one, are defiantly going to be following Fary Lochan in their feature endeavors.

To learn more about Fary Lochan Distillery, check out there website here   

Regular readers of The Son of Winston Churchill properly knows who Hasse Berg is, but for anyone new to this blog;

Hasse Berg
I am a simple man on a whisk(e)y mission, sharing the passion with the rest of you members of the secret whisk(e)y society. If you find anything useful here, pass the word, and let us all learn from one another.

When I founded the Son of Winston Churchill, back in February 2016, it was driven by a long and everlasting love affair with whisk(e)y and a crystal clear ideology, wanting to have fun and be a independent part of the secret whisk(e)y society. Meaning that the site would stay clear of financial self-interests and running only by the passion and joy for whisk(e)y. A whisky society for the whisk(e)y drinker! I have always had a desire, bringing other whisky writers on board, to share the passion and secure that the readers was represented by a wide range of perspective and opinions. In May 2016 we were so lucky that Aaron Cave and Seth Brown agreed to join the crew. I still remain the daily editor, but all members carry’s an equal part of the process and contribution to the site. Besides running SOWC I am also the associated editor for the whiskey magazine Bourbon Zeppelin. I am located in the small state of Denmark

Want to learn more about who I am? Click here


Make sure to check back in tomorrow, where we are heading to Ozark Distillery in St. Louis, Missouri. USA with Steve Akley

 Want to read our previously distillery visits? Click below!