A Danish dram

Fary Lochan

From a forest in Denmark, the Fary Lochan distillery has created an impeccable single malt that’s winning over the experts

Denmark is not a country people automatically associate with single malt whisky, but one distillery transforming perceptions is Fary Lochan, a tiny family-run distillery located in a beautiful forest in Farre, in the centre of the country. Fary Lochan started producing whisky in 2009 with a unique recipe fusing Danish tradition with Scottish expertise. It subsequently became the first whisky from continental Europe to be invited to join the prestigious Scotch Malt Whisky Society. “That was a great honour as it is all about the quality of the product,” explains Thomas Smidt-Kjærby, stepson of founder Jens-Erik Jørgensen. “In blind tastings, people cannot tell we are not made in Scotland, and our goals and passion are guided by the Scottish traditions.”

Fary Lochan produces around 20,000 bottles per annum of single malt whisky using bespoke equipment made by the world’s finest manufacturer of pot stills, designed with a small neck to produce a richer taste. Fresh water comes from a spring in the forest, while the peat used to smoke the barley is made from fresh nettles. “There’s a local tradition of using fresh nettles when you smoke cheese on the island my family comes from, so we took this and applied it to a different product,” says Thomas. “We gather the nettles every summer and when you taste Fary Lochan whisky the smoky notes come from these fresh nettles – that is something nobody else does in the world.”

When creating his distillery, Jens-Erik Jørgensen visited distilleries in Scotland, including some of the smallest in the country, to seek inspiration. He then brought his newly gained knowledge and principles to Denmark, with exceptional results. Fary Lochan is now available via the illustrious Berry Bros & Rudd in the UK. The distillery also makes gin and other spirits, but the focus and the passion remain scotch-inspired whisky. “My brother, sister, mother and I all work for the distillery,” says Thomas. “My stepfather passed away in 2016 but his signature is still in every single drop of whisky that comes out of our distillery. We believe this is the best way to keep his dream alive.”