Lorenz Humbel

Distiller Stetten, Aargau, Switzerland

Lorenz’s grandfather, Max Humbel, founded the distillery in Stetten in the canton of Aargau in 1918 as a supplement to his farming business, when he – like many Swiss farmers of the time – found himself in dire straits. When Lorenz Humbel took over the distillery from his father, the Swiss spirits market had just been liberalized. Until then, 80 percent of the distilled spirits consumed in Switzerland came from within the country. In the meantime, the ratio has reversed. The traditional distillery had to respond to this change. Humbel made the right decision by focusing on cherry eau-de-vie. He consistently focused on quality and expanded his range of certified organic spirits. While searching for suitable cherries, he came across a book from 1937 entitled Die Kirschsorten der deutschen Schweiz (The Cherry Varieties of the German-speaking part of Switzerland). In it, the author and botanist Dr. Fritz Kobel classified over 300 different cherry varieties. Inspired by this publication, Lorenz Humbel began distilling single-variety cherry brandies in 1995. Today, Humbel has already mashed and distilled well over 20 different cherry varieties, and is still searching for cherries that expand the aroma spectrum of his outstanding brandies.