Korn - a product you only know, if you are from Germany, Switzerland or Austria. In other countries, it is not allowed to name an alcoholic product this way. However, the reputation of Korn is not too good since it is closely associated with rural marksmen's festivals and adolescent escapades.
Kai and Judith Elmendorf are on a mission to improve the social perception of Korn. The story behind their distillery sounds like a boozed fairytale: In the late 17th century, the Elmendorf family began manufacturing industrial Korn in North-Rhine Westphalia. They were amongst the biggest players in the German liquor industry until monopoly positioning became illegal and further distilleries joined the market. Today, more than 325 years after the first batch of Elmendorf Korn
hit the shelves, Judith and Kai's understanding of contemporary Korn is as far away from the industrial standard as it can possibly be.
In the heart of Hamburg, they have turned one room of their gorgeous office space into a state of the art distillery spiked with numerous traces of their heritage. Here, the family stores their craft Korn in six different barrels that are over 200 years old and, according to Kai Elmendorf, are the base for the distinctive taste of his product. All of these barrels have been in use since the early days of Elemendorf Korn.
Best served at ambient temperature without any additional ingredients, Elmendorf Korn is remarkably smooth and the woody hint of its storage tempts one to associate it with Whiskey. "Some high-class cigar lounges serve our product instead of whiskey, since, due to its smoothness, it doesn't interfere with the taste of the cigar", Kai Elmendorf said.
Every year, the Elmendorf family bottles and labels around 3000 bottles of Korn. Despite their small badge, they have not been unnoticed: After receiving a reward at the Craft-Spirit-Festival 2016, they have been shortlisted for the 2017 Design Award.
It is remarkable how Kai and Judith Elmendorf pursue the dream of their family to manufacture pleasant Korn. Although their contemporary product is not comparable to what their ancestors have bottled hundreds of years ago, you can taste dedication, passion and lifeblood in their exemplary understanding of Elmendorf Korn.
If you are interested in visiting the distillery yourself, feel free to contact Kai Elmendorf via their website. Otherwise, you can purchase their Korn in selected stores, like the Craft Beer Store
and Getränke-Paradies Wolf
(both in Hamburg).
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Alsterdorfer Straße 107
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