The uniqueness of the taste of a place, captured with the right spirit.




Matti Leppälehto and Kalle Valkonen
Kyrö Distillery Company

In some countries, people meet up at home, in others, they do so in a café or a square. In Finland, people like getting together in the sauna. It is undoubtedly the place where Finns come up with most of their good ideas. And that is how the idea for our distillery came about: the first rye whisky in the country. A beautifully simple idea, capable of becoming something else, of transforming distillates into gin as well.

It was 2012 and, engulfed in clouds of steam, a group of friends with a common love of spirits, wondered why rye whisky was exclusively American and Canadian. After all, the country where most rye is consumed in the world is Finland. To give you an idea, rye bread is the country’s official national dish. We like it so much that we consider it to be a snack that can be eaten on any occasion.

So, why did our distilleries only produce malt whisky?  Perhaps all that was needed was someone who was ready to take the bull by the horns, with the right spirit, and we were ready to do just that. We were excited by the idea of being the first, the only ones. We wanted our whisky to be as good as our bread and like our bread, we wanted to make it entirely from Finnish rye. No other ingredient. And this was a real challenge.

The amazing thing is that enthusiasm often takes you even further that you had imagined. We were incapable of sitting around doing nothing whilst we waited the required time for our first whisky to age, so we launched headlong into a parallel production that would capture the essence of our land. Our botanical training, passion for distillation techniques and desire to experiment were combined in a gin that is aimed at harnessing the perfume of the Finnish summer and the aromatic notes of a hidden world close by, of the plants that grow around the distillery.

Our project grew naturally, turning into something quite memorable: an enterprise that embodied the Finnish spirit through different flavours, yet united by an unmistakable and genuine style. 

It would be a lie to say that all you need to set up a company like this is passion and recklessness. You also need study, hard work, attention to detail and the unwavering determination to create the very best product possible; one that is unique and special.

Not bad for an idea that was conceived while chatting with friends in a sauna, is it?