Martin Dulig, Minister of Economic Affairs of the Free State of Saxony, visited the Dresden Whisky Manufactory on Tuesday evening, 24 October 2023. He was accompanied by State Secretary for Economic Affairs Thomas Kralinski. The two founders Frank Leichsenring and Thomas Michalski gave the delegation a tour of the manufactory and talked about the business challenges and the special features of Dresden whisky. During the tour, Martin Dulig was able to personally fill the 1974th cask. 1974 is the year of the Minister's birth. Economics Minister Dulig was also able to taste the excellent flavour of Dresden whisky for himself.
With an investment of around 16 million euros, almost 2 million euros of which was financed by subsidies, the largest whisky factory in Germany is being built in Dresden's Alberthafen. Reason enough for Saxony's Minister of Economic Affairs, Martin Dulig, to pay a visit to the company. "I admit that I was particularly looking forward to visiting the company," said Minister of State Dulig. And so his planned visit time was exceeded by a whole hour. "On a business trip to Scotland last year, we wanted to go to a pub at least on the last evening. We also had to sample a whisky or two there - and I have to say, I enjoyed it. As I've been enjoying a sip every now and then since then and was even given a bottle of Hellinger 42 as a gift, I was particularly looking forward to the visit," says Dulig.
After an introduction to the history of the company by the manufactory's founders Frank Leichsenring and Thomas Michalski and a first whisky tasting, the tour of the building began. As Hellinger is the birth name of Leichsenring's mother and the 42 in his favourite film "The Hitchhiker's Guide to the Galaxy" is the answer to the ultimate question about life, the universe and everything else, Dulig, who was accompanied by State Secretary for Economic Affairs Thomas Kralinski, was also guided through the film world with a sperm whale, petunias and Marvin the robot. After explaining the concept of the tasting room, Managing Director and master distiller Jörg Hans took over. "I took a look at the production process, visited the manufactory and spoke to the two owners about business challenges and the speciality of Dresden whisky. The Dresdeners filled whisky casks as early as 1974 - I was allowed to fill a very special cask, because with today's date and my year of birth (as the cask number), the Dresden whisky is now maturing in 'my' cask," Dulig continues.
"We have been distilling our own whisky for around a year now. The distillery is highly mechanised - computers monitor almost all processes. But in the meantime, even time-honoured whisky distillers from Scotland have shown interest in the Saxon technology. We are on the right track," says master distiller Hans. The 1,974th 225-litre cask had just been scheduled for filling. "But after we saw Martin Dulig's year of birth when we were preparing for the appointment, our colleagues had to leave the barrel in question for the time being so that the minister could fill it himself. "It's relatively easy to fill the raw whisky, because it works like a petrol pump at a petrol station. Of course, you could also taste it carefully," says Thomas Michalski.
"As the high-proof alcohol only becomes real whisky after three years of ageing in the barrel, we invited the minister to come back after three years and try a first sample of 'his' whisky - and he said 'I'd love to, by then at the latest'," concludes Frank Leichsenring.