top of page

Hygge in a Glencairn: The Arrival of Stauning Whisky to Australia.

In the spirit of Hygge, a Danish term that embodies coziness, warmth, and conviviality, The Whisky List recently introduced the award-winning Stauning Whisky to Australia. This launch wasn't just about bringing a new whisky to our shores; it was about creating an experience that celebrated the art of savoring life’s simple pleasures.

As part of Whisky Month and following one of Stauning’s co-founders, i.e. Alex Hojrup Munch, embarking on a tour of Sydney and Melbourne, Sydney's Hickson House Distillery served as a backdrop for a unique opportunity to experience Stauning’s innovative approach to whisky. This event epitomized Hygge, blending the warmth of good company with the enjoyment of exceptional cocktails.

Stauning's journey to Australia was more than a business venture; it was a manifestation of a long-held dream by the distillery's team to share their grain-to-glass Danish whisky with a discerning audience on the other side of this earthround. This launch signified a growing trend among consumers who seek brands that promote sustainability and traceability, values deeply ingrained in Stauning’s ethos.

Stauning Whisky

Starting out, Stauning’s founders leveraged their local environment, using the wind, sea, fields, heather, peat, and some of Denmark’s finest water. They aimed to create a 100% Danish whisky that could stand alongside the world’s best. Local barley was sourced from a farmer, malting was done on the butcher's cold room floor, and peat from a nearby museum was used to dry and smoke the malted barley. In 2006, the first drops of Stauning whisky flowed, and a New Nordic Whisky was born.

Stauning released its first commercial bottles in 2011, gaining acclaim as the New Nordic food scene flourished. Chefs and restaurants began serving Stauning whisky, with René Redzepi of Noma exclusively listing it. Despite increasing production to 80,000 litres a year, demand outstripped supply.

In 2018, Stauning opened Denmark’s first purpose-built distillery, a modern marvel reflecting Danish design. The new facility, with its 24 pot stills, continues traditional methods like open floor malting and direct fire heating, ensuring the whisky retains its unique character.

Stauning’s approach combines tradition with innovation. Local barley and rye are floor malted, and fermentation takes four days to develop rich flavors. Distillation in 24 direct-fired pot stills, followed by aging in various casks, produces whisky expressions with complex, deep flavors.

From its inception in an old butchery to its state-of-the-art distillery, Stauning Whisky has remained true to its roots. The founders’ insistence on traditional methods, combined with their innovative spirit, has created a whisky celebrated worldwide. As production grows, Stauning continues to embody the spirit of its founders, making whisky their own way—the Stauning way.

Exploring the Elegance of Stauning Smoke

Stauning Smoke redefines the notion that exquisite peated whisky is exclusive to the Scottish isles. Crafted with local ingredients, including grain and peat, Stauning employs traditional floor malting methods.

The kiln, infused with both peat and heather from the landscapes surrounding Stauning by Ringkøbing Fjord, imparts a lighter yet intricate smoky profile.

This whisky undergoes double distillation in small, flame-heated pot stills—an unusual and fascinating setup, with the above-mentioned 24 petite, direct-fired stills in use.

The spirit then matures for five to six years in a combination of first-fill bourbon casks, first-fill Madeira casks, first-fill Jamaican rum casks, and Virgin American oak casks. Bottled at a robust 47% ABV, Stauning Smoke offers a complex and captivating tasting experience.

Upon nosing, one is greeted with the scent of smoked heather and cinder toffee, complemented by notes of tobacco, vanilla, and salted popcorn. The aroma evolves with hints of cherry, stem ginger, and stewed apples, creating a rich and inviting bouquet.

The palate is a harmonious blend of marmalade and dark chocolate, underpinned by vanilla and bonfire smoke. The flavours unfold to reveal malty biscuits, butterscotch, and honeyed cereals, offering a delightful balance of sweetness and smokiness.

The finish is enduring and multifaceted, with freshly baked rye bread and spiced apple chutney coming to the fore. Sweet peat lingers alongside subtle tropical fruit notes, leaving a warm and satisfying aftertaste that invites another sip.

Stauning Whisky's KAOS

A favourite of ours of Stauning Whisky's portfolio includes an enthralling blend aptly named KAOS, an intricate composition of three of its distinct whiskies. This blend includes bourbon-matured single malt, malted rye, and peated single malt, creating a harmonious symphony of flavors that belies its chaotic name. The result is a nuanced dram brimming with chocolate, gentle smokiness, and dried fruit undertones.

What tickles the nostrils is a medley of toasted and singed grains, accompanied by a sprinkling of baking spices. Notes of maple syrup and dark chocolate weave through, adding depth and richness.

On the top of the mouths, layers of smoky spices and a hint of treacle are unveiled, mingling with caramel-dipped biscuits and cocoa. The sweetness of dried apples and sultanas provides a delightful balance.

The finish is long-lasting, with persistent smokiness blending with the flavors of caramel, vanilla, and raisins, culminating in a warm and gratifying aftertaste.


Words by AW.

Photos courtesy of Stauning Whisky.


bottom of page