08 January 2024
The idea of a distillery came to founders Jouni, Miika, Kalle, Mikko and Miko, while enjoying a sauna together (as Finns do). They may or may not have been drinking rye whisky in the sauna at the time, and rye subsequently became their focus and, indeed, obsession.
Founded in 2012, the location for the distillery is an old dairy overlooking the great plains of Ostrobothnia in Isokyrö, which is around five hours drive from Helsinki.
But like many new whisky distilleries, they realised it takes a while to make great whisky, so they set about making gin while their whisky matured. This gin is made from the same rye base as their whisky and serves almost like an additional botanical with its subtle nuttiness and spice.
The whisky process begins with the careful selection of the finest rye grains, ensuring a high-quality base. The rye is then malted, a crucial step where the grains are soaked in water to begin germination, and then dried. This malting process activates enzymes in the rye, which convert the starches into fermentable sugars. It's a familiar process in the production of malt whisky only malt whisky is normally made form barley.Following mashing, fermentation and distillation, aging is the final and crucial step. The new-make spirit is aged in oak barrels, where it acquires colour, complexity, and additional flavours. The choice of barrels at Kyrö, which may include new American oak or ex-bourbon barrels, influences the final taste profile of the whisky, adding notes like vanilla, toffee, and spice.
The distillery has great sustainability credentials too. It is powered entirely by biogas and wind turbine, with only a single diesel powered tractor preventing them from claiming 100% renewable. Spent grain for the mashing of the rye is sent to feed cattle in the nearby area, while the stills are cooled using water from the Kyrö river, which is cycled back in to the river (unspoilt) once it's been used.