During the 1990s, a small grain of barley was already feeding the dreams of Etienne Bouillon. Meetings followed meetings, Christian Polis and Pierre Roberti were enthusiastic and joined Etienne in his creation.
This passionate distiller, the initiator of the project, filled the first cask of the future Belgian Single Malt Whisky, The Belgian Owl, on 29 October 2004. The first sales took place from December 2004, through an on-line sale, supported by a full page advertisement in the Belgian daily press.
The creation of this first Belgian Single Malt Whisky distilled from barley grown in Belgium started quite a stir amongst the people of Belgium. The first 804 bottles of The Belgian Owl were quickly bought up by enthusiasts who wanted to be a part of the adventure.
Already, from 2004, Jim Murray was highlighting the quality of the production in his 2004 Whisky Bible.
In November 2007, The Owl Distillery started the ‘Spirits in the Sky’ event during which the first bottles were delivered to their lucky owners.
The Belgian Owl has been available from specialist retailers throughout Belgium since 2008. These retailers have promoted the product and have shared this passion for this first Belgian whisky that comes from our agricultural heritage.
2010 and 2011 saw the recognition of the quality of the work carried out by The Owl Distillery, both through international competitions such as the ‘World Selection’ and ‘Le Mondial de Bruxelles’, and through publications such as Jim Murray’s Whisky Bible. Amongst the prizes awarded were:
- 2010 and 2011 Gold Medal at the Mondial de Bruxelles ;
- 2010 and 2011 Grand Gold Quality Award at the World Selection ;
- “European Single Cask Whisky of the Year 2011” with 95.5% in Jim Murray’s Whisky Bible;
Our main objective is to create The Belgian Owl and to have it obtain an international renown for quality.
Dreams follow dreams. As soon as one is made real, the next one is already coming along…Let’s go…Let’s dare again…and set off on the road to new adventures!