Let´s make Finnish rye whisky
When you know nothing about distilling whisky but you introduce yourself as the main distiller.
Eight years ago I sat down with Miika Lipiäinen and Mikko Koskinen to talk about their idea of starting a rye whisky distillery in Finland. A crazy idea, I thought.
But thanks to Miika’s good convincing skills, Mikko’s enthusiasm, and my love for making tasty beverages, after that evening I still found the idea crazy, but I had become one of the silly folks trying to pursue it. That decision took me on this amazing journey of Kyrö and that journey has only began.
Dreams do come true
When I hopped on to this rye bus my responsibility was to actually produce the spirit. That was, and still is my dream job, because for me the most fascinating thing is the actual art of making whisky. In principle, making whisky is quite a simple process. We brew a mash, distill it twice, and let it age in a wooden barrel for at least three years. That’s what I saw when I first did the background research on the subject – rye whisky.
Obviously it is not actually that simple, because along each single step you make choices that will affect the taste and quality of the final product. Understanding the chemistry and biology behind the taste of whisky motivates me to work on this subject every day.
We have had to make a lot of choices with our Kyrö Malt. We use malted rye for a smoother, more complex taste. Our fermentation is really long to give extra fruitiness to the spirit. We choose double pot still distillation to keep the spirit oily and robust. We use a mix of barrels to give more layers to the the final product and we went that extra mile (or 1,6 kilometers) and built climate controlled warehouses to control the ageing of our spirit. These are some of the major choices we’ve made to create a whisky you’ve never tasted before – the Kyrö Malt.
Eight years ago we dreamed to create a Finnish rye whisky and this Wednesday, on the last day before my summer vacation, we finished the final version of our first steady product – Kyrö Malt. Now it’s time to go sailing for a couple weeks. But I’ll be back in August to deepen my knowledge on the art of whisky and to make even tastier whiskies for you in the future.