The power of tradition reinvented
Uncover the story of the first Slovak whisky
Although it seems that the story of the first Slovak whisky began to be written relatively recently, its history is much richer. The beginnings of the spirit production tradition, which we can confirm from the available sources, were born under the massive walls of Ľubovňa Castle already in the middle of the 18th century. This tradition was later continued by the Morgenbesser distillery family, which preserved the production and storage procedures for us.
Thanks to their knowledge and determination, we were able to pay tribute to our ancestors while creating something unique. We succeeded with the amber Nestville Whisky, which carries the legacy of more than 260 years of tradition and combines history with the present. The name was created by combining the words “nest” (hniezdo) and “village” (dedina/obec) according to the village of Hniezdne, where its production takes place. The latter derives its name from the number of storks that regularly nest in the area and symbolize loyalty to traditions.
Distillery traditions of Northern Spis
Already in the second half of the 18th century, part of the rye grown under the Ľubovňa castle was handed over to local “gorzelniks” for burning “gorzalka”. It is important that the foundations for the production of whiskey were already laid in this period, as spirit was produced similarly to whiskey distillate. First, the mash from the grain was fermented and then stored in barrels. The distillery under the Ľubovňa castle and the tradition of burning “gorzalka” are more than 100 years older than the oldest registered distillery in the USA.
In the first half of the 20th century, the tradition of distilling spirit in Spiš was maintained by the Morgenbesser distillery family, which in addition to preserving the production and storage procedures, also left behind a strong legacy. It was during the reconstruction of their distillery that we managed to discover the production procedures and recipes of that time, which we followed up with modern technology.
Rescue of distillery traditions
After the nationalization of the distillery of the Morgenbesser family, the tradition of distilling in the territory of northern Spiš is disrupted after more than 200 years, and dust is slowly falling on its rich history. The change came on the brink of the millennium, when sister distilleries were gradually established within the Stará Ľubovňa district. The BGV company decided to build one of the most modern distilleries in Central Europe in 2011, and soon it will boast with the title of the first Slovak whisky producer.
First steps of the ambered path
The ambition to create a unique experience by combining tradition and modern production methods was present in our minds right from the humble beginnings, but it took time to transform it into a tasty present. We realized that the basis of whiskey is a high-quality grain distillate, which we began to produce from local grain and high mountain spring water.
Wood full of taste
In addition to the grain distillate, the common denominator of every whisky is a high-quality oak barrel, which imparts its color and taste. The first barrels that came to us were 36 pieces of 700-liter French oak barrels, 36 pieces of 700-liter Slavonian oak barrels, and 55 pieces of 500-liter Spanish sherry wine barrels. At the turn of March and April 2008, we filled whisky barrels with distillate in a volume of 36,625 liters. What followed was a impatient waiting and childlike joy.
In 2009, 900 pieces of 200 liter barrels were purchased from the state of Kentucky, made of real American white oak, which increased the total volume of our barrel warehouse almost 5 times. With such a huge volume, 216,625 liters, we could concentrate on the production of whiskey distillate and its refinement under the trade name Nestville.
Message hidden in the bottle
We decided to reflect the combination of modern technologies and traditional procedures with a custom-designed bottle. The bottom of the bottle is decorated with embossing depicting a stylized stork’s nest, in the upper part there is the crown of the Spiš County and the inscription NESTVILLE. Storks are a symbol of loyalty to the traditions of our ancestors. This bottle has been used for all vintage whiskys since its introduction.
First amber drop
After three years of anticipation and excitement, the first amber drop of the delicious three-year-old Nestville Whisky falls from our oak barrels. Already at this moment, it acquires its characteristic notes of vanilla, gentle sweetness and faint tannins. The ceremonial launch on the market takes place on June 30, 2012, and it is a blended whisky, which is created by mixing the 2008 and 2009 vintages.
First limited edition
Since 2015, limited editions of the oldest Slovak whisky, which are popular with collectors and connoisseurs, have been introduced to the market at irregular intervals. Another primacy this year is the rolling of the first six-year-old whiskey with an alcohol content of 40%.
The best european whisky
2018 is turning out to be a breakthrough year for us! In the framework of world exhibitions this year, we receive up to 5 awards. The most prestigious one goes to our 8-year-old Nestville Whisky Master Blender, vintage 2009, which, according to Jim Murray’s Whiskey Bible, is the best in the category of European Whiskys (European Whisky of the Year) for 2019. Its limited edition is launched on June 23, 2018 in the amount of 1,475 bottles.
Now - History hidden in the present
Currently, Nestville Whisky is the first oldest and still the only whisky in Slovakia. On the premises of Nestville Distillery, more than 4 million liters of whiskey distillate mature in more than 20,000 barrels, and its taste is enjoyed by lovers in more than eighteen countries of the world in Europe, Asia and North America. Everywhere you open a bottle of this amber drink, you can feel the strong aroma of joy, taste and tradition, which is reflected in our courage to experiment and connect the seemingly unconnectable.