Stauning Rye & Stauning Kaos


Last Monday I already talked about world whisky and that I want to discover more about it. So I will continue with that today because I have two whiskies from the Danish Stauning distillery to review. Another relatively unknown brand for me, as I haven’t tasted that much of it yet, but a distillery that has been high on my wish list to visit for quite some time.

The distillery, which is located on the west coast near the small village of Stauning, was founded in 2005 by 9 friends. Making it Denmark’s oldest whisky distillery. None of the friends had any knowledge of whisky making, but they shared a passion for whisky, the will to experiment and a good dose of curiosity. And so the distillery was started, with practically nothing, in an old butchery of one of the friends.

After the building was converted into a distillery with two small stills, they were able to start distilling in 2006. With not much to spend, the team was forced to come up with smart and cheap solutions. For example, the barley was purchased from a local farmer, which they then floor malted in their own distillery. Nearby was a museum where they could dry the peat and smoke the malted barley. And an old meat mincer was used for milling. But all this did ensure they eventually created a 100% Danish whisky.

Not long after that, it turned out that the whisky had potential and so Stauning moved after only 1 year in production to a farm that was converted into a distillery with considerably more capacity. Production restarted in 2009, but despite the larger distillery, their working methods barely changed.

It turned out to be a great success and over the years Stauning continued to grow in popularity. So much so, that in 2015 – with a substantial investment from Diageo – a completely new, very modern distillery was built. The capacity was increased tenfold, but the owners still stuck to their old methods which have been used from the very beginning. No large pot stills, but still small stills (24 in total) that are all direct-fired, open floor malting and everything is still locally sourced. As a result, Stauning remains a 100% Danish whisky with the entire process still in the hands of the distillery itself.

This Stauning has matured in new American oak for 3 years and is bottled at 48% ABV. Batch 3-2020.

Stauning Rye tasting notes:

Nose: oatmeal porridge and freshly baked rye bread at first. Then Blueberries and blackberries. A touch of wood spices, followed by vanilla. Later also coconut and a hint of unripe pears.

Taste: oily. Milk chocolate and raisins. Blueberries again. Sourdough bread and oats. Red apples and lemons. Caramel. And some saltiness. Quite some oak and spices, such as a touch of black pepper, liquorice and cinnamon.

Finish: mid-long and a bit dry and oaky. Rye bread again, raisins, caramel and the wood spices. A hint of tobacco.

Score: 82/100

The Stauning Kaos Triple Malt is a combination of rye whisky and peated and unpeated malt whisky and is bottled at 46% ABV. Batch 02-2020.

Stauning Kaos tasting notes:

Nose: quite some vanilla at first. A touch of nougat and pine needles. Lemons. Oatmeal porridge and a wood note. Then some honey, which is quickly followed by a touch of sweet peat. Later also red fruits, such as red berries and sweet strawberries. Green apples too.

Taste: a creamy peat note. Honey and vanilla. A hint of red apples. Oatmeal and sweet raisins. Oranges in the background. Followed by milk chocolate. Pine needles again, but also a hint of pencil shavings. It’s slightly woody. A bunch of spices, black pepper, cinnamon and nutmeg.

Finish: mid-long. A hint of peat and lemons. Raisins. Pine needles and the same spices as on the palate.

Score: 84/100

Overall: The Stauning Rye is a bit too woody and spicy for my taste and therefore not for me. The nose is fine, but after that I find it a bit less because of the oak.

The Kaos is considerably improved after the bottle has been open for two weeks. In the beginning, I thought it was a bit aggressive and flat, but this has faded away. It is quite a complex dram, which you have to take your time for because a lot is happening in this one. Not a whisky for everyone, but after having tasted it a number of times I am starting to appreciate it more and more. It keeps changing and every time I take a sip new flavours have been added to it.

Bottles provided by Salud Distribution.

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