Run by the Thorkelsson family and the first and only distillery in Iceland, Eimverk’s mission is to make premium Icelandic liquors using strictly local ingredients. Handcrafted with 4 years of determination (including 163 trial distillations and maturation tests to ensure the perfect recipe), Floki whisky is the first of its kind from that part of the world.
Using their own custom made distillation equipment, they first extract the full flavour from the 100% Icelandic grown barley before maturing the whisky produced in new American Oak casks. The result is a unique but complex blend with a sweet maltiness and hint of spice notes.
They also like breaking the mould with tradition-based innovation (such as smoking with sheep dung), producing whiskies as individual as Iceland itself.
If an ingredient hasn’t been in Iceland for 100 years, it’s not added in!Egill Thorkelsson - Head Distiller
We take pride in hand crafting Flóki. From growing our own barley to designing and building our own pot stills, every step is important to us for delivering the best possible spirit
The Icelandic strain of barley is originally a Norwegian strain of barley from the 12th century, so it has its own character.Páll Elvar Pálsson - Eimverk’s VP of Sales
- Flóki continues the tradition of breaking the mould: as well as being the first and only Icelandic whisky, their sheep-dung-smoked reserve is the first of its kind in the world (the dung is used in the same way that peat is in Scotch)
- Their name, Eimverk, comes from the Icelandic Eim for distillation, and Verk meaning to get a job done
- Eimverk designed and built their own pot stills to enhance their individual style of the finished product
- Flóki is named in honour of the leader of a Viking ship who searched for a fabled island in the North Atlantic Sea during 868
- Flóki barrels spend time maturing under the base of mount Hekla
- As well as their own Barley, Eimverk also use native herbs and botanicals - if it hasn’t been in Iceland for a hundred years, it’s not added in!
- The Icelandic strain of barley originated in Norway during the 12th century, so it has its own character
- Eimverk shares a building with a robotics factory also owned by the Thorkelsson family
Cask World’s Highlights
From the first time we spoke with Halli, it was clear that he was a pragmatic, straight talking business owner and an open-minded ‘ideas’ guy. He’s obviously good at what he does; Floki Whisky now proudly stands as the only truly Icelandic single malt with a wide range of expressions, offering a window to the unique Icelandic environment and raw materials. And they have only just begun - what we see now is just a glimpse of the incredible whiskies that are coming over the next 5-10 years.
Most impressive to us was the way that this family business has gone about it. We knew already that it would have taken a certain degree of mettle to have conceived the first Icelandic single malt, but if we go back a little further, the Thorkelssons are a fifth generation distilling family - the first legal distillers in Iceland, in fact - it’s in their blood. When Halli and Egil decided to move into whisky, they did everything themselves, building the stills and automation systems (no foreign experts were flown in!), putting the other infrastructure in place, and seeing the dream to fruition through nearly 200 tests and trials over several years.
Now, the Floki brand is flying, but this is no time to rest! During our visit we took a helicopter ride out onto the ice sheets hunting for ice caves for whisky maturation, and they have recently started using ancient sandstone caves (a local tourist attraction) for the same purpose. Eimverk are also one of the only non-Chinese baijiu producers on earth (the world’s best-selling liquor - 10.8bn litres sold in 2018).
The Thorkelsson’s entrepreneurial spirit is plainly evident, and we came away from our time near Rekyavik with a healthy respect for the way they have overcome the challenges of the harsh climate and harnessed their unique natural resources in order to produce fantastic whisky.
Floki Whisky at a glance
Eimverk Distillery (Flóki Whisky)
Halli & Egill Thorkelsson
Halli Thorkelsson - Founder & CEO
Egill Thorkelsson - Founder & Master Distiller
Páll Elvar Pálsson - CMO
Sigrún Jenny Baradadótti - COO
Eva María Sigurbjörnsdóttir - Distillery Manager
Custom designed and built pot stills, all Icelandic ingredients, local Icelandic spring water and barley grown on their own site
Primary Whisky Types
Complex single malt with a unique blend of characteristics found in Bourbon, Scotch, and Irish whiskies
Oak, birch, ex-craft beer/sherry casks - First fill American white oak barrels, ex-mead barrels
On site storage facility under the roots of mount Hekla
Av. Length of Maturation
3 years +
Current Bottle Prices
£50-60 per bottle / 50cl
London Spirits Awards 2020 - Gold for Floki Single Malt Whisky
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