thy single malt spelt-rye bog core range review

Thy Distillery Core Range: Single Malt, Spelt-Rye & Bøg (2024)

Let me start this review by making something very clear: I’m a major fanboy of Thy Distillery. If I were to start a distillery, Thy would be the blueprint. The launch of Thy Distillery’s first core range is a huge milestone, and I’m so here for it. It consists of their flagship single malt, Thy, a Spelt-Rye whisky, and a beechwood smoked whisky, Bøg.

I’ve waxed lyrical about Thy Distillery before, so I’ll try to contain myself this time around. Just know that Thy is a single-estate farm distillery in Denmark run by self-confessed grain geeks. They don’t just grow barley, but also rye, spelt, and wheat. Better yet, Thy has also embraced old heritage varieties of Danish barley.

Biodiversity, sustainability, zero-waste, circular agriculture and organic aren’t just flashy buzzwords to the owners. They’re elements of a philosophy they practice every day. Not because market research has proven that’s what consumers are after, but because they’re firm believers.

Having said all that, none of their good intentions matter much if their whisky distillation skills were lacking. But that’s not the case. Thy Distillery know what they’re doing and they have created a fairly unique product. (I’ve only added the provisional fairly because unique is such a strong word.) Their whiskies should be required educational material for anyone who considers themselves a whisky geek.

thy danish whisky single malt core range

Thy Danish Whisky Single Malt (48%, OB, 4800 bts.)

  • A single malt made from Odyssey (99%) and Babushka (1%) barley, of which 88% was processed as pale malt. The remaining 12% was smoked with beechwood.
  • Fermentation times varied from a minimum of 6 days to a maximum of 14 days.
  • The whisky was distilled in 2019 and 2020.
  • Maturation took place in 4 first-fill ex-bourbon casks (125 litres), 11 first-fill ex-Oloroso casks (250 litres and 60 litres), and 4 ex-Pedro Ximénez casks (500 litres and 60 litres).

Nose: An initial hit of apple juice, but quickly replaced by dusty grains, sweet barley husks, and gentle notes of orange peels. There’s a tinge of aniseed alongside teak wood and sultanas. Just a whisper of rosemary too, while some Acacia honey rounds out the sweeter notes.
Taste: Just a very good mouthfeel. Creamy, first and foremost. This is also where the beechwood smoke really comes through. I’m glad this element shines in Thy’s flagship whisky. Warming cinnamon, crème brûlée and a touch of liquorice root. Different and singular.
Finish: Medium to long. Somewhat dry and slightly peppery and spicy. Gentle charcoal embers.

They say this expresses “our farm distillery style of single malt whisky.” I’m obviously not as intimately familiar with Thy Distillery’s spirit as the founding family, but this barley-forward, beechwood smoked single malt certainly seems to fit the bill.

thy danish whisky spelt-rye core range

Thy Danish Whisky Spelt-Rye (48,5%, OB, 2900 bts.)

  • A malted rye whisky made from malted rye (60%), Odyssey barley (30%) and spelt (10%).
  • Fermentation times varied from a minimum of 6 days to a maximum of 8 days.
  • The whisky was distilled in 2019, but filled into casks on January 15th, 2020.
  • Maturation took place in 14 new oak casks (mostly 125-litre casks but some 250-litre casks as well.

Nose: An elegant, fresh sweetness takes centre stage first. There are tinges of mead, spearmint and gentle leafy touches. Also some underripe banana, as well as earthy and bready notes. Maybe a whiff of thyme and tea leaves too. And let’s not forget the pencil shavings and soft resin notes.
Taste: The rye is wonderfully present here. Gentle spices, whispers of eucalyptus and some cinnamon. A touch of almond paste too, as well as caramel, a tinge of orange liqueur and oaties, followed by a small amount of nutmeg.
Finish: Medium. Certainly a quick hit of cough syrup, but also warm spices and a sliver of ginger.

Pure, quality rye from new oak casks. Seriously enjoyable whisky with a profile that’s very different from Thy’s standard single malt. Which, of course it is, given the ingredients. But it’s nice to showcase such versatility. And at a high level too.

thy danish whisky bog core range

Thy Danish Whisky Bøg (50%, OB, 3100 bts.)

  • A single malt whisky made from Odyssey barley (100%), of which 95% was smoked with beechwood. The remaining 5% was processed as pale malt.
  • Fermentation times varied from a minimum of 4 days to a maximum of 14 days.
  • The whisky was distilled in 2020.
  • Maturation took place in 10 first-fill ex-Oloroso casks (250 litres and 60 litres), 1 first-fill ex-Palo Cortado casks (60 litre), and 3 first-fill ex-Pedro Ximénez casks (500 litres).

Nose: Such a fresh, warm, comfortable experience. There’s this trademark aniseed-esque wood smoke, which may sound weird, but really hits the spot. Also a hint of roasted pineapple, some dark-kilned malt, and honeyed sweetness. Maybe even a few raisins, chargrilled beef and orange zest as well.
Taste: A syrupy mouthfeel. Wood smoke combined with wholegrain bread, ashes and cough drops, as well as pine resin and ginger. Also gentle citrus notes, golden syrup and sultanas. Even some angelica root.
Finish: Long with smoked apples, more raisins and gentle spices.

Wood smoked barley! I'm hopeful this will become more of a thing. We're less familiar with peat on mainland Europe. Not many of us grew up with it, certainly not in the same way as the Scots and Irish. For me, wood smoke and bonfires were part of my childhood, not peat smoke. Maybe that's why this evokes such a emotional response.

Photos: Whiskybase

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