A Korn is born at Schmittmann distillery
A city known more to us for beer but Dusseldorf distillers Schmittmann, not far from the city centre, have been around for over 200 years and gave us every reason to seek out different types of German alcoholic beverages. The family-run business has a wide range of spirits and liqueurs. So make sure to make time in your itinerary to visit, sample, and probably buy some of their products!
Tours are normally in German only but translation was provided to our group. If visiting contact them in advance to avoid any language issues on the day!
Here you will find the traditional Korn (more on that later), a dry gin, flavoured liqueurs, kirsch and herbal liqueurs like the ‘Schloßturm‘ below.
Their other herbal liqueur, ‘Boonekamp‘ has over 40 herbs and is made to an old family recipe.
Their ‘Düsseldorfer Kirsch‘ was too easy to drink.
What is Korn?
Korn is a grain spirit which is a colourless alcoholic liquid and can be made with either rye, wheat, barley, oat or buckwheat. Korn must contain at least a minimum of 32% ABV. Above 37.5% ABV it may be named Kornbrand. Their original 40% Kornbrand and BEN’s 38% Kornbrand both won Gold at the Meininger 2019 international spirits competition in the grain spirits category so it’s that good! the korn here is stored in wood, just like whisky, so it has a woody aroma but a flavour more like rum.
How is it made?
Similar to making whisky, Korn is produced by ground wheat or rye being cooked with hot water to form a mash. The temperature is then reduced with ground barley malt added. The mash is then cooled and fermented with yeast which produces alcohol.
The spirit is then distilled multiple times to remove any odours or unwanted flavours. For high-quality Korn, the spirit is aged in oak barrels before being bottled.
How to drink Korn
Korn can be drunk neat in shot glasses or mixed with a soft drink. You may hear beer ordered with a Kurzer “short”, a shot glass of Korn. Fruit-flavored Korn are sold as liqueurs as the Korn liquid cannot be flavoured. The chocolate/chilli and strawberry/lime liqueurs at Schmittmann are a bit different and very tasty. They also sell a delicious cacao and hazelnut liqueur and we brought a variety of bottles back home with us!
As well as the distillery, there is a Brauhaus on site for beer and relaxation.
Niederkasseler Straße 106
Monday to Tuesday 7am to 6pm
Friday 7am to 3pm
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