NOBS Distillery is a sustainable micro distillery project started by us: The Knobelauch family. We’ve been whisky enthusiasts for many years and since 2015 we've run a small web shop selling collectable whiskies to connoisseurs and happy whisky drinkers around the world.
Enjoying whisky in the good company of friends and family, visiting distilleries home and abroad, arranging whisky tastings and generally keeping up with news and trends in the whisky industri has been a great and rewarding part of our lives. And it hopefully will be for many years to come.
However, starting a small sustainable whisky distillery has been a dream of ours for a long time and finally in 2019 we decided to embark on that yourney.
Where We Live
In 2018 we moved to the island of Samsoe in the heart of the Danish Kingdom. Samsoe has been a center of commerce and power in the Viking era as well as early medieval times. Today Samsoe may have lost its political and military importance, but we still enjoy the privilege of a mild microclimate, a beautiful countryside and lovely beaches.
Thanks to the microclimate and some very fertile soil, Samsoe has a substantial agricultural production – some of which is fine barley. This barley is either exported or used as pig feed, which we believe is a shame. Some of it could surely be malted, fermented and distilled into whisky instead. In fact, in medieval times this was exactly what many of the islanders did – although the spirit produced back then wouldn’t qualify as whisky, but rather a grain-based liquor called “braendevin”.
There are already a few distilleries in production on Samsoe, but even if they make great and taste-worthy products, all of them have yet to dedicated themselves to making whisky. With our new distillery we aim to change that in making NOBS Distillery the first distillery on Samsoe purposely build to make great whisky.
Our vision is plain and simple. To make world class single malt and grain whiskies using locally grown barley and grain in the most sustainable way possible . There is nothing new in that. Most new whisky distilleries have more or less the same vision, but that’s because it makes perfectly sense.
Making good whisky is a well known process and the best approach for newbies like ourselves is to adopt and adapt what others have perfected through centuries. In that respect we indeed aim to be a no bull distillery.
Sustainability Is Mandatory
Making whisky consumes a lot of energy and with a global climate crisis at hand, we are committed to build a sub-zero carbon footprint distillery. We’ll achieve this by being ingenious and by recycling energy and materials wherever and whenever it is possible.
We'll also compensate for our emissions by raising a permaculture forest on the distillery grounds with a potential to bind more than four times our combined carbon dioxide emissions each year.
If our new micro distillery could serve as an example and inspiration to others in how to achieve the same goals with a sub-zero carbon footprint, we will indeed have succeeded.
Quality Over Quantity
Being a micro distillery also means that we have to be very focused in what we do, as a limited production capacity leaves little room for error and failed experiments.
This is why we will focus our efforts on only two signature products: a classic slightly peated bourbon cask matured single malt and a sweet unpeated single grain whisky that takes its cue from the best of American and German distilling traditions. We believe that this focus will help us maintain a high and consistent quality in our products to the benefit and enjoyment of our coming customers.
And yes, we do know that consistency in quality and presentation might be easier obtained with a little chill-filtering and coloring thrown into the mix, but you will never see that in a whisky from NOBS Distillery.
What A Difference Time Makes
Making good whisky takes more than passion. It takes skills and a lot of time as well. Skills we can acquire and develop, but time we need to invest and respect. To even be called whisky, our new spirit will have to mature at least three years in wood casks. But to compete with the best whiskies in the world, it may take decades.
However, we do aim for our whiskies to be ready for bottling within five to ten years from the first day of distilling. How to achieve this? By maturing our whisky in small casks only and applýing a bunch of other secret magic voodoo tricks.
But in the end the whisky itself decides when its ready. Once distilled and filled into casks, patience is the key to succes.
Current project status
So we have a vision and we have a plan, but it’s quite another thing to make it all happen. Luckily, we already have a site for the distillery here at Korsgaarden on Samsoe and we’re well underway building and refurbishing.
Most of the equipment has also been acquired, which include our beautiful copper pot still from DES in Serbia and mashing equipment from Brewtools in Norway and Speidel in Germany.
Actually, we only need to finalize our Still Room and install the equipment before we can start to make some whisky. So we hope to start production this year.
How to support the project
At the moment it's all about getting the Still Room up and running, so the best way for you to support that effort is to visit our web shop. Each bottle we sell brings us closer to the target as all profits are invested in the completion of the distillery.
Furthermore, we plan to open a small distillery visitors center and shop at our farm, where you'll be able to browse our collection of whiskies as well as other whisky related collectables and merchandise.
By appointment we also arrange whisky tastings and small tours around the distillery.