Stauning Whisky: From hobby to million kroner business

stauning whisky medlem af Danish Food Cluster

Top scores from a world-famous whisky guru, sold at NOMA, and the world’s largest liquor producer as investor – well, the story of Stauning Whisky speaks for itself.

From a butcher to a pilot, from mid-thirties to early-sixties, both the professions and the ages vary greatly among the nine friends who are the founders of Stauning Whisky. It all started in an old slaughterhouse, but by adding a lot of hard work and a portion of can-do attitude, a micro-distillery was created.

They overwhelmed Jim Murray, the so-called whisky guru, with their product: “He said that people who love smoked whisky would kill their own mother to get a hold of a bottle of our whisky,” says co-founder Hans Martin Hansgaard. And as if that wasn’t enough, they won over some of the best whisky producers in the world at the World Spirits Competition in 2017.

Create the best version of the product

This is something many businesses can relate to when the challenge doesn’t lie in just creating the product, but the best version of the product. That is what the nine friends did. They didn’t just make whisky, they made great whisky, and their secret is keeping the quality high in everything they do:

”We don’t cut any corners anywhere in the entire process. Our production method is expensive, cumbersome, and time consuming, and that’s what gives our whiskey the deep and complex taste and makes it unique,” says Hans Martin Hansgaard.

A taste of Western Jutland

Stauning Whisky only uses local raw materials because they want to support the local community and because of the effect on the taste:

“The water, grains, heather and peat we use gives our whisky a taste of Western Jutland. We could choose to use imported grain and probably it wouldn’t affect the taste much, but we want stay local and support our local producers, even if the price is higher,” says Hans Martin Hansgaard

From 15.000 to 900.000 litres in a few years

In 2015, Stauning Whisky signed a deal with the world’s largest liquor manufacturer, Diageo. This will increase their production capacity from 15.000 litres to 900.000 litres when their new distillery is finished in 2018. For most distilleries, scaling up like this would affect the quality, but that’s not the case with Stauning:

“We are not going to use conventional methods like other large distilleries. Instead, we are going to use roughly the same equipment, but much more of it. Time consuming, yes, indeed! But the quality must stay intact, and it will” says Hans Martin Hansgaard.

Stauning Whisky is among the latest members of Danish Food Cluster.