Walloon company Belgian Owl, which produces and sells whisky, recently won the award for the best European whisky of 2022. Producers Jean-Louis Baltus and Etienne Bouillon have been in the market for ten years and their product, which has already won numerous awards, has gained worldwide recognition. As a result of this increasing success, they want to expand and pursue their vision for Belgian Owl by going organic.
The Belgian Owl adventure started with Jean-Louis Baltus, CEO of the Dexowl the Owl distillery group, and Etienne Bouillon, founder and master distiller. In December 2021, their "Identity" Single Malt was voted best European whisky by the author of "The Whisky Bible", Jim Murray. This is not the first time their whiskey has received such an award, as it also happened in 2011 and 2015. These producers from Fexhe-le-Haut-Clocher are delighted with this third award, which confirms the excellence of their product.
As for their place on the international scene, "Identity" Single Malt made its mark with a score of 91 out of 100 from the American magazine "The Whisky Advocate", which means that it follows on from big names such as the Macallan 15 Years Old and its score of 92/100. This is wonderful international recognition and Jean-Louis Baltus underlines his pride in working with Etienne Bouillon, "We must congratulate ourselves on having one of the best master distillers in the world for a Belgian whisky."
"Knowing that the whisky has been entered into a competition, tasted by professionals and enjoyed can reassure an amateur on the other side of the world in their choice," explains Etienne Bouillon. Although the master distiller believes that the final judge remains the consumer. "But competitions are there so I can find out how to improve myself or the product."
Regarding the future of the company, Belgian Owl would like to produce a very rare organic whisky within five years. The crops they grow in Hesbaye will increase from 77 hectares to more than 400 hectares. This desire to expand is necessary if they are to meet global demand. They estimate that production will reach 500,000 bottles per year. What makes this whisky so interesting is the region in which it is produced, "And more particularly in dry Hesbaye, on secondary cretaceous soil," says Etienne Bouillon. "It is one of the four best terroirs in the world," confirms Jean-Louis Baltus. Their project is in line with their vision for Belgian Owl; it is important for them to promote farmers and the land, hence their particular interest in traditional agriculture and organic.
Source : L'Avenir