The GRAIN used in Aeroe whisky is barley. Any kind of grain can be used for whisky , e.g. the United States is known for its Bourbon whiskey, made primarily from corn. Rye whiskey is made from rye, and for Single Malt you use barley. A particularly good quality barley is used for br ead, beer and whisky. Quality is defined by special requirements for the amount of protein, purity and germination.
In a good year the grain harvest on Aer oe yields 25,000 tons. Of this, we use a modest 3-10 tonnes in our production. For a cheap blended whisky, mainly corn and wheat are used. Whisky made from grain types other than barley are collectively referred to as Grain whisky.
Our product traceability is something unique to us. W e can tag the bottle with the exact origin of the grain. This i s highly uncommon, and only doable with a very modest pr oduction. For example, the 2013/2015 harvest from Dunkærgaard is included in our production. This farm has a tradition of malt barley pr oduction. The 2014 harvest was primarily from Tanges Eco-field on Tværbymark.
MALTING is, in short, a controlled germination process. Initially, the grain is steeped in water to start the
sprouting process, whereafter the malt is referred to as green malt. The grain is then spread out on the floor, where germination continues whilst the grains are regularly turned.
Following this, the malt undergoes kilning (a drying process) where the grain is heated and the germination process stops. Peat or wood is used in the drying process, infusing both malt and whisky with the characteristic smoky/peat flavour.
Aeroe Whisky currently uses the malt houses of Refsvindinge and Kølsters organic maltery, but in time we have plans to establish our own small malt house here on Aeroe.
The WORT that goes into the pot still is comparable to a beer without hops.
We can make the wort directly in the pot still, but we usually prefer to get the wort delivered in large quantities directly from a brewery. Our local brewery, Aeroe Brewery (Rise Bryggeri) has supplied the wort for our first distil lation here in the old washing house.
A wort takes a few days to br ew, and consist solely of water, yeast and malt. The final wort contains 6-8% alcohol.
If the malt used for brewing the wort isn’t smoked, only a small part of the wort flavor will be traced to the finished whisky. If, however, the wort is brewed from smoked malt, the smoky taste will be clearly noticable before storage on oak casks.
In the DISTILLATION of the wort, the wort is heated by electrical elements, and when it reaches a temperature of 65 degrees, methanol (which is a waste product) is extracted and discarded. We call this the Head of the run.
The Heart of the run (ethanol), is our cor e product, and is distilled/boils when the wort r eaches 70-80 degrees Celcius. This is the part that now contains the flavours. Ethanol vap ors are collected in a refrigeration unit and condensed using cooling water. The liquified vapors of the heart run ar e collected in a container, and are now at 85% alcohol. This part of the spirit is then taken to be matured and will in time become whisky.
The tail of the run with heavy alcohols is mainly re-used in next destillation. A small part is however used directly.
The WOOD used for whisky storage is always oak. The oak is generally 100 years old before it reaches a size which makes it useful for the construction of the fade .
The wood most commonly used in the whisky industry is American oak, preferably casks which has previously been used in Bourbon production, or that previously contained Sherry. A cask can be used for up to 50 years.
Aeroe Whisky’s production has in the first years been with a mixtur e of new Hungarian oak, new American oak, old sherry casks and finally our own Aeroe oak. We use casks of 64/128 litres.
Whisky needs to mature at least three years in oak barrels.
HOW WE GOT THE FUNDING
350 people and companies have contributed DKK 1.38 million as seed capital in Aeroe Whisky Ltd.
EU funds for rural development (LAG) and Realdania’s building heritage fund ”Underværker” have contributed to both the distillery and the building.