On June 14th, 2022, the Foreign Ministries of Denmark and Canada finally sealed a peace treaty, settling a 90-year-old conflict named ‘The Whisky War’. This happened just four months after multi-award winning Danish Stauning Whisky started a plea campaign, encouraged the industry to halt production till peace was a reality, and even offered their distillery as neutral ground for diplomatic negotiations.
“To us, whisky is about peace. And in desperate times like these, we must treasure every attempt at it, even when it shows up small. The Whisky War has held no casualties, but the idea of whisky being guilty of rifts between countries, was simply unbearable to us. That is why we decided to do what we could to end it”, explains one of the founders Alex Hoejrup Munch.
The Whisky War is originally a dispute about the 0.50 sq mile, uninhibited Hans Island, positioned in the strait that separates Ellesmere from Northern Greenland. Since 1932 Hans Island has been claimed by both Canada and Denmark (on behalf of Greenland). It earned its name when Canadian representatives left bottles of whisky to the Danes who reciprocated by leaving bottles of schnapps.
“I am terribly sorry that Denmark did not produce any whisky at the time, because apparently the schnapps that didn’t resolve the conflict. Now it’s time to heal old wounds and look ahead”, says Alex Hoejrup Munch.
When Stauning learned of The Whisky War, they decided to plea both countries to finally end it. They made Facebook videos, urging other distilleries to join, threatened to stop production, and attended face-to-face meetings with Danish and Canadian diplomats.
In celebration of the newly won peace, Stauning is planning a special Peace Edition, re-earning whisky its position as a peacemaker, not a warlord, celebrating the two nations Denmark and Canada in one bottle.
The campaign is created in cooperation with Danish agency &Co.