THE STORY OF THE BRAND
THE BIRTH OF OLD HUNTER’S RYE
Not one, not two, but three prominent men have contributed to the legend of Old Hunter’s Rye. The first of them was William II of Pernstein, who granted the owners of the “Green Tree” house the brewing right in 1518, thus paving the way for 500 years of uninterrupted spirit-producing tradition. The successful entrepreneur Luis Eckelmann and Prostějov-based pioneering rye distiller Jakub Vojáček played their part in the history of Old Hunter’s Rye.
Their legacy comes together in the brand Old Hunter’s Rye. Each owner contributed personally to improving the quality of the unique distillate. And Jakub Vojáček was no exception. The progressive man produced a rye spirit using a new technique with improved distillation apparatus. But it was not until a chance meeting with the well-travelled businessman and passionate hunter Luis Eckelmann that the original recipe of Old Hunter’s Rye began to spread throughout the Kingdom of Bohemia. Based on his experience from Scotland, Eckelmann began to store the original distillate in wooden barrels and to produce it on a large scale in a newly built distillery in Krásné Březno. The drink was originally called Alter Korn, and its bottles have featured a man in a green jacket and hat since the very beginning.
At present, the original Czech speciality is produced in the legendary distillery Palírna U Zeleného stromu in Prostějov, the oldest distillery in Europe with an unparalleled tradition of rye spirit production for five hundred years.
SET OUT ON THE PATH OF OLD HUNTER’S RYE
What sets Old Hunter’s Rye apart from all other alcoholic beverages is its long-lasting, delicate flavour and fruity notes harmoniously combined with vanilla. Those who have tasted Old Hunter’s immediately place it in the category of whiskey, so it has always been known as “Czech rye whisky”. This is because the basic ingredients and maturation method are the same as those used for whisky. A fine rye distillate, clear water, ageing in oak barrels, a rich tradition and the fact that it is produced in what is now the oldest distillery in Europe with a 500-year tradition of distilling rye spirits.
The flavour and aroma are the work of real people in the production process. The recipe of Old Hunter’s Rye is a closely guarded secret that only three people know in detail. One of them is our master blender Roman Petruš. Every day, he inspects the ongoing maturation process and the quality of a unique combination of carefully selected ingredients. These have been mixed for centuries in the same ratio and with the same production process. Even though the technology of the Old Hunter’s Rye production process is undergoing modernisation, one thing remains the same: the love and passion for the drink that is imprinted on every last drop.
Individual products are categorised under the brand Old Hunter´s RYE according to the length of maturation in oak barrels. The legendary Old Hunter´s RYE matures for one year.
For four years our whiskey matures to the fine and fruity taste of the Old Hunter´s RYE RESERVE (4 YO) and only rye spirits from the best barrels according to the 4 + 3 recipe mature for the next three years to create the Old Hunter´s RYE Selection, which makes the whiskey more complex and its uniqueness fully developed. And finally the Single Barrel product matures for eight years, after which it is bottled by hand.
A LIFE FULL OF INSPIRATION
The popularity that Old Hunter’s Rye has enjoyed throughout its existence is confirmed not only by the tradition of sales, but also by the fact that it has shone many times alongside prominent actors and become a part of Czech cinematography.
It is a drink that has united and strengthened the friendships of mature men for generations. It is a speciality that is drunk on festive occasions, or just when we want to enjoy ourselves and share time with friends. No men’s gathering would be complete without it.