The Netherlands has two whisky distilleries that have been around for a decade or two. The first one is beer brewer Us Heit located in Bolsward. Since 2004 a single malt called FryskHynder was made here. The next one is Zuidam in Baarle-Nassau who started in the 1970s as a jenever (gin) distiller and soon branched out into the domains of fruit liqueurs and vodka. In 1999 the company began distilling whisky and currently produces single malts and rye whisky under the brand name Millstone. Two handfuls of micro-distillers are spread over the country, for example Kalkwijck in Vroomshoop, Sculte in Ootmarsum, and Kampen Distillers in Zeeland.
Unfortunately the Dutch whisky industry also has an example where craft distilling can seriously go wrong. In 2016 Mr Smakman founded Turv Exloo Distillery and neglected all written and unwritten rules when he launched a 3-months-old distillate labelling it ‘prime whisky’. Not long after, the SWA and the Dutch authority that deals with distillates forced him to withdraw the product. Smakman reportedly couldn’t stomach the defeat and ended his life when setting his own distillery on fire in March 2017.