In the 15th century, Bruges had a very good trading relationship with Scotland and imported a lot of Scottish wool. It was a flourishing trade and this brought Bruges a lot of wealth. There was a neighborhood full of Scottish merchants.
In 1467 the Scottish Parliament forbade trade with Flanders and the Scottish merchants had to leave Bruges. Anselm Adornes then traveled to Scotland, at the head of a diplomatic mission, representing Bruges. The negotiations with the Scottish King and the Scottish Parliament were successful. At the end of the 15th century, the Scottish merchants left Bruges and no whisky was distilled until 2019… Then Thibaut De Meyer started distilling spirit and letting it mature into whisky.
It is believed that whisky was made in Scotland and Ireland as early as the 4th or 5th century, but it was King James III who officially recognized whisky. Whisky was a strong drink enjoyed on special occasions by all walks of life in Scotland. It is also plausible that whisky was distilled at home even in Bruges. However, there is nothing about it in the city archives. This is probably due to the fact that no taxes were levied on it. Even in Scotland, no taxes were levied on this drink until 1644.
Since Thibaut came into contact with the Scottish spirit through his father and a friend (from Ireland) about 7 years ago until now a lot has happened. After discussing that friend's bookkeeping, they had a drink once. One evening a bottle of whisky with wild honey was brought to the table. Thibaut was sent by his mother to fetch his father. It was already very late and the next day it was a working day. But that bottle was far from empty and Thibaut seemed to like it. Three months later, a special bottle of Springbank appeared on the table at the next quarterly close and Thibaut was sold. That bottle is carefully preserved. Except for a 5 cl, this whisky was drunk empty that evening.
After that, Thibaut wanted to know everything there is to know about whisky. He immersed himself in it for 2 years and bought 100s of bottles with his drinking money. In this way he got to know the flavors and gained a lot of knowledge. When we opened a brasserie – coffee house about 5 years ago, we integrated all these bottles and turned them into a whisky bar. The intention was to turn the whisky into an experience. So Thibaut explains the smell, taste and origin of each glass. Soon, Thibaut was increasingly asked to accompany tastings and whisky fairs. Such a young man who speaks with such passion immediately stands out.
It was the people themselves who asked why we weren't going to make whisky ourselves… That indeed seemed the next step to us and we started applying. It took almost 1 year before we could start. After 6 months of maturing, the whisky enthusiasts could taste our product for the first time. The taste immediately caught on and then we knew we were on the right track. To this day, all bottles sell out in record time. We never expected or hoped that. Now we even have fans!