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  • Gemma D.

The Stillery's Spelt and Rye Whisky - Made with Patience

The Stillery emerges as a beacon of authenticity and artistry in the center of Amsterdam, having created their Spelt and Rye Whisky, which are part of their inaugural releases. These whiskies encapsulate the city's spirit—resilient, audacious, and unyielding. In a personal conversation with founder Robin Karels, I try to discover what has led the team to this daring venture into the wondrous world of whisky.

The Stillery Rye Whisky

A Whisky Aged with Precision

The Stillery’s journey began in 2015, when their first Vodka was brought to market, made from specially selected spelt. Robin: “The pivot to whisky was a very conscious decision. It felt like the right direction. The reason we use spelt grain for the latest creation adds an intriguing facet to the whisky landscape.”

Their hard work and patience was rewarded when their carefully laid down, oaken barrels within the city's harbor, waited for the moment that its contents reached the distinctive taste that I got to enjoy. Robin: “European whiskey makers, I believe, embrace somewhat more audacious approaches. We do this with an extended fermentation period of nearly two weeks, for example.”


Longer fermentations often create additional flavors, resulting in a more complex spirit, something the Stillery’s Rye whisky can attest to. Robin: “This process creates more depth to the whiskies, a more fruity flavor.”


Core range whiskies

The Stillery’s aim is an initial core range of whiskies featuring spelt, rye, and a peated whiskey. Robin: “After this we want to have an annual release plan. Currently, we have 25 barrels maturing and each tasting session unveils novel flavor horizons. There is also thought of having our first peated whisky matured on Moscatel casks but nothing has been set in stone yet.” He smiles conspiratorially.



The whiskies

What is interesting to note is the difference in when one would drink these whiskies, according to Robin. “One of them you would be able to drink every single day. The other more on special occasions.”

We start off with the Spelt whisky, a sweet and light whisky that oozes fruitiness and subtle hints of vanilla. There is a nice finish of dried fruits that lingers nicely on the palate. Something more akin to raisins. This would be the whisky I could drink easily on a daily basis.


The Rye whisky is definitely my favorite because of its unique flavor palate. The first sips give me this popcorn-like sweetness of the rye whisky, so strange yet very satisfying. The bottle I have at home is especially reserved for those special moments.

Robin Karels

A Triumvirate of Gold

In a remarkable feat, The Stillery's single cask Amsterdam Rye whisky was awarded with three gold medals at the prestigious 2023 World Whiskies Awards. Crowned the Gold winner in the single cask rye category for 12 years and under, a mere 396 bottles were crafted, a rare opportunity available from their exclusive webshop.


It was such a pleasure talking to Robin, and his ardor for crafting these whiskies was palpable in our exchange.



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