Scan Magazine, Issue 85, February 2016

Page 40

From grain to bottle, with an artist’s touch “From the steeping of the grain through to the malting, drying, milling and so on, we do everything here and bottle the finished product on our premises,” says Anja Molin, co-owner of Spirit of Hven, one of the world’s smallest pot still distilleries. But while the distillery’s size is humble, its reputation is anything but. By Linnea Dunne | Photos: Spirit of Hven

Henric Molin, the other owner, is often described as a whisky geek. But perhaps that is one of the major strengths of this distillery. “He is obsessed with getting oak for the casks that grew in the right place and knows exactly where he wants to get the spices from. Everything is done manually, completely without machines, always in small quantities,” MoThe Molin family.

40 | Issue 85 | February 2016

lin explains. “Get the final product, and you can actually smell it.”

Small-scale preciseness The small-scale approach always was, and still is, a conscious aim, putting quality over quantity at all times. Precise control over the distillation has come to define the Spirit of Hven brand and fascinates its many fans across the globe, so much so that developing spirits for other brands has become part of their operations. “We are never going to be a huge distillery – that’s out of the question. And the small-scale approach is really palpable when you get here. You can feel that it’s a family-run business,” says Molin. “But what that means is that we simply don’t have the capacity to keep releasing whisky after whisky and give

all these products the marketing they deserve – so it makes perfect sense to create recipes for others.” A state-of-the-art laboratory means that spirits can be tested and analysed down to the tiniest detail, revealing everything about additives, ageing processes and every single ingredient in every bottle. “Our machine actually smells – yes, it really has a sense of smell,” Molin enthuses. “What we can do here is quite amazing, not to mention how important it is. Let’s not forget, this stuff is dangerous if you don’t know how to handle it!” You could forgive a multi-awardwinning spirits producer for wanting to keep all its delicious recipes to itself, but branching out makes perfect sense, insists Molin. “An artist is a creator, and developing new recipes is a way to keep creating. Henric is an artist in this field, and by developing recipes for other brands he can keep creating even when we’ve exceeded our capacity to release new whiskies.”

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