Ceci n’est pas un Scotch – The story behind our Glen Moray edition

For our second batch we decided to stay in the same line of thought as our first batch: an excellent selection of Single Malt Scotch, finished on a traditional Belgian “Kriek” cask of Cantillon.  

However, the release of this batch turned out to be much more challenging than anticipated. The reason: a change in regulation during the maturation process which almost prevented us from releasing our Glen Moray as “Scotch” (and even releasing it at all).

The last Scotch?

Every good story starts with a sudden change. An unexpected twist. And for us it was a slap in the face. Initially we planned on releasing the ‘Glen Moray à la Belge’ early 2020. But we ran into a small inconvenience.

Our friends at the Scottish Whisky Association (SWA) changed regulations: not all types of casks are allowed to be used for maturing Scotch. Casks that have held liquids that contained stone fruits, like cherries, in any way during the production process? No can do. Keeping in mind Tequila and Mezcal are still considered as ‘traditional casks’ the ruling seemed a bit arbitrary, but we drew the short straw here.

The return of the stone-fruit savourists

An easy fix would have been to release our batch as a BE- or EU-whisky that happened to be produced in the Glen Moray Distillery in Scotland. New labels should do the job, right?

Unfortunately, not according to SWA, as regulation defines that there can’t be any other type of whisky being produced in Scotland other than ‘Scotch’.

At that time, we didn’t see any obvious way out. It was a Catch-22.

Brave as we are, we looked the SWA straight in the eyes and started negotiating. Endless hours of waiting, discussing and throwing arguments at each other. In the end, reason prevailed! As our whisky was re-racked before the amendment, the SWA agreed that we could ship it under the Scotch label for the very last time. So after printing a new label (again!) we were good to export our finished product to Belgium. 

All’s well that end well

Due to these negotiations and necessary changes in labeling, we encountered multiple months of delay. But in the end, it was more than worth the effort and we are very happy SWA had ears for our arguments.

Our most loyal fans had to exercise a little more patience than expected, but they’ll get an even more precious product in return…

… the last Scotch finished on a Kriek Cantillon cask.

Interested in tasting? You can order here

Langs het pad van eigenzinnige volharding

De filosofie & het verhaal achter Whisky à la Belge

Soms wordt een sterk verhaal geboren vanuit vele vragen. In ‘Whisky à la Belge’ leidden de vragen tot het verhaal. Hoe vind je in de whiskywereld verruiming en verdieping naast al de reeds bestaande speciale rijpingen en finishes? Wat is er nog niet gedaan? Welke creatie voegt waarde toe aan de ruime waaier van whisky?

Al die twijfel en onwetendheid brachten Tom Van Gyseghem bij een avontuur dat hem van een Brussels studentencafé zou meevoeren naar een Schotse distilleerderij.
Een ontdekkingstocht op een moto langs artisanale stokerijen met menige cafés als tussenstop. Whisky als brandstof voor mens en machine!

Een gesprek met Tom Van Gyseghem, bezieler en inspirator van ‘Whisky à la Belge’.

Continue reading “Langs het pad van eigenzinnige volharding”

Part II: … à la Belge

Whisky à la Belge returns.

We are very proud and pleased to announce that the second release of Whisky à la Belge is on its way.

The basics did not change: a carefully selected single malt Scotch whisky, finished on a Belgian beer barrel.

But of course there will be differences: both the whisky and the beer are from a different family than last time. Also important for the fans that were not able to get their hands on the first release: we selected two sister casks instead of one.

This release will be once more available via the Thistle web shop.

We will release more information the coming weeks. If you don’t want to miss out, make sure you subscribe to the newsletter.

Let us give you a small clue of things to come:

Until very soon!

Jori, Ken and Tom

Press Release

Today we went public with our Whisky. For the Dutch speakers amongst us: you can find the complete text here.