Latest update: November 17th 2008
NETHERLANDS - VALLEI
The whisky industry is booming, not only whisk(e)y countries like Scotland, Ireland, Japan, Canada and the U.S.A., are showing expansion. Even a country like the Netherlands is showing a growing whisky industry. Most of them are originally breweries or geneva distilleries.
The first new whisky that showed up was Frysk Hynder. This Frisian whisky comes from the north of the Netherlands. Us Heit brewery produces this 3-year old single malt whisky.
Another whisky pops up in the south of the Netherlands, this one is produced by geneva distiller Zuidam Distillers. Next to genevas, liqueurs, gin and wodka, they also produced a whisky that goes by the name Millstone. This whisky is a 5-year old single malt whisky. Zuidam produces beautiful miniatures, but there are no miniatures of Millstone.
The latest to start producing whisky is Vallei distillery and brewery. They are producing beers, a whisky liqueur and whisky. The miniature they are producing is a single malt spirit. They miniature looks like a geneva bottle. This distillery is situated in the centre of the Netherlands.
Finally, a non Scottish distillery that I have been visiting. I visited the Vallei distillery and got a tour from the owner Bert Burger. When you are used to visit distilleries in Scotland you do not expect to see a distillery like this. This is a distillery that was set originally in the kitchen of his home. When he had some mishaps, that nearly burnt his house and which leave him with some marks, as he burnt his foot, he decided to take his distilling somewhere else.
In a farm building he is running his distillery. It is a small scale scheme and he has to be very inventive during production. The hose of a washdryer is used to dispose of the vapours, a small barbeque is used for peating and heating elements are found all over the place to assure that in the cold barn temperatures can be regulated.
They already bottled their first batch of whisky and this is also for sale on their website and in off-license stores in the neighbourhood.
The whole process from start to finish is processed on the premises, and currently he even is considering to start a separate section for his brewing activities.
Pictures of my visit to Vallei can be seen by clicking in the picture index to your right.