The ultimate goal of Thoran is to produce a premium, single malt whisky, made using Icelandic water and organically grown Icelandic barley. But we also want to make other spirits, make friends and hopefully... make a profit.


Stop throwing away your hard earned money on things like pet food and gym memberships, and start buying stuff that'll actually make you happy. Buy a cask of whisky. Do it. Do it now.


Have you always wanted to contribute in establishing a whisky distillery in Iceland, but not sure how to do it? No problem, John Boblem. We're gonna tell you how. It's easier than you think.


Wait! What?! We’re making more than just whisky? We sure are. Wanna try some un-aged grain spirit flavored with Icelandic herbs and served in a glass made out of volcanic rock? We've got you covered.

Icelandic Whisky?
by Edward Hancox

"Icelanders love a drink, and yet Iceland has had a chequered past with alcohol. Things are changing though, and a brave group of Icelanders are about to brave their way into the world of whisky." Read the full article

Þoran, Whisky aus Island
by Bernhard Rems
"Wir haben ja vor einem Monat bereits berichtet, dass eine Gruppe isländischer Geschäftsleute plant, mit der Destillerie Þoran den ersten isländischen Whisky herzustellen.
Read the full article

  • Need a reason to celebrate? How about this: Same-sex marriage has been legal since 2010 in Iceland. Gays and lesbians also have the right to adopt children. That's something worth raising a glass to.
  • Our stills will be heated with geothermal energy. 30% of Iceland's electricity is of geothermal origin - the highest percentage worldwide. The rest of the nation's electricity is generated by hydro power, making of Iceland the world's most eco-friendly country in terms of energy.
  • Icelandic delicacies include shark meat, puffin, reindeer and sheep testicles. With food like that, you definitely need something strong to wash it down with.



In the past few years many new spirits manufacturers have risen in Iceland, and right now the future of Icelandic spirits is as exciting as it is bright. We want to create a photo journal documenting our own entry into this market, giving you the chance to follow our progress, see what we're up to and what we're gonna do next. Enjoy these 'behind the scenes' photos and be sure to check in every now and then for more.



Each day the Þoran project progresses further and the dream of Icelandic whisky becomes more tangible. We'll be posting updates on our development, both on this site and on our Twitter account.

Fire, Ice and… sheep manure?

20-Apr / 0 COMMENTS

  The art and science of making whisky hasn’t changed all that much in the past 400 years or so. It’s a formula that works so there’s really no need to drastically change it. But every couple of decades a great idea is born that affects the way we make ...


West Coast visit

17-Mar / 0 COMMENTS

A couple of months back the Thoran team undertook a mission of exploration and fact-finding to The Emerald city, Seattle. The purpose of the trip was to visit the many breweries and distilleries the city has to offer and meet the people behind the craft distilling and craft brewing revolution. ...


Winter is coming

10-Oct / 0 COMMENTS

…and with it some exciting news from your favorite Icelandic distillery. After almost 2 years of hard work we’ve reached our first milestone in the development of our spirits. We now have a spirit, both peated and un-peated, that we are very happy with. We’ve also received great feedback from ...


God save the Queen

10-Oct / 0 COMMENTS

We just got back from the UK where we attended the Whisky Show, hosted by the Whisky Exchange, where we had the privilege of sampling many fine whiskies from around the world and meeting the good people who make it. During that same UK tour we also attended the Annual ...


Heja, Sverige!

08-Jul / 0 COMMENTS

The Þoran team just got back from a marvellous weekend spent with our friends over at Box Destilleri in Sweden. Great weather, great people, great whisky. We had the privilege of getting to learn about their production methods and philosophy from the formidable Roger Melander, one of industry greats in ...


Over a hundred pre-orders!

03-May / 0 COMMENTS

The interest in Þoran has been tremendous over the past months and we’d just like to say, from the bottom of our hearts, thank you! Since we’ve made the option of pre-ordering a cask of Þoran whisky available, we’ve received over 100 orders. These lucky people will soon be able ...


Congratulations, Jói!

10-Feb / 1 COMMENTS

Our head of development, Jóhannes Valberg, just finished his Bsc. degree in mechanical and energy engineering, got a master certificate in thick plate crafting AND is only one year away from getting his masters degree in mechanical engineering. For those of you not in the know, Jói is the true ...


Icelandic whisky in 2014?? Maybe.

22-Nov / 0 COMMENTS

It’s been a busy couple of months. We’re just about ready to move our entire production over to Matís, the Icelandic food and biotech R&D. They’re going to help us out with some aspects of our production as well as give us access to much of their equipment. In other news; ...


Money and fame. We have both.

24-Oct / 0 COMMENTS

Guess who just won the award for innovation in food and drink over at Landsbanki Íslands and Matís? We did, ya’ll!! The award came with a million icelandic krónur and a contract with Matís, who are going to help us develop our production methods. In other news, look out for ...


Pre-orders and presentations

03-Sep / 2 COMMENTS

We are approaching the end of the summer here in Iceland (which wasn’t much of a summer because we only had about 5 days of actual sun in the capital). The 10 week startup incubator of which Þoran was a part has come to an end as well. It all ...

La primera destilería de whisky islandés
by Emma Briones

"En nuestras predicciones para este 2013, hablábamos de la proliferación de destilerías en países no tradicionales, como pueden ser Austria, Suecia, Alemania, Nueva Zelanda, Tailandia… Pero han sido un grupo de islandeses los que han decidido dar un paso adelante creando Þoran…" Read the full article

Íslenska viskíið vann í Nýsköpunarkeppni
via Viðskiptablaðið
"Fyrirtækið Þoran Distillery sem framleiðir íslenskt viskí hlaut fyrstu verðlaun í nýsköpunarkeppni Matís og Landsbankans fyrir viðskiptahugmyndir í matvæla- og líftækniiðnaði sem byggir á íslensku hráefni og hugviti. Fyrirtækið hlaut eina milljón króna í verðlaun frá bankanum." Read the full article

  • Fun fact #1
    You like peat smoke in your whisky? How about volcanic smoke? Iceland has about 130 volcanic mountains. Among them 18 have erupted since the settlement of Iceland 1100 years ago.
  • Fun fact #2
    The Icelandic language has not changed much in the last 1100 years. Even children can read ancient texts written by the viking settlers. 'Þoran' is actually an old icelandic word and means 'courage'
  • Fun fact #3
    Icelandic water is so clean and pure that it is piped into the city and to the kitchen taps in the home without any treatment (no chlorination needed). Let's mix it with some barley and yeast and see what happens.



Our team is comprised of three like-minded individuals, each bringing something unique to the table. Our combined skill set includes marketing, graphic design, microbiology, brewing, economics, packaging design, engineering, team building and product development.

Individually we are one drop,
but together we are an ocean


The Þoran project has become a small, global community. People from all over the world have been sending us emails, telling us how excited they are about the prospect of Icelandic whisky and asking how they can participate.


Some of them want to write articles about the project, a few are hoping to get first dibs on a cask but most people just want to wish us good luck. These people are our global ambassadors and vital members of our team.

  • One of 10 teams to partake in Startup Reykjavik 2013 accelerator program
  • Winner of the 2013 Innovation in Food & Beverage award
  • Semi-finalist in "Get in the ring 2013" entrepreneurial competition in the Netherlands
  • Featured in magazines and websites in 5 different countries


The Þoran project has been the brainchild of Birgir Már since 2009. He's the groups dreamer and resident whisky snob. He's also a huge Star Trek nerd.


Jóhanna is the only member of the team with a modicum of logical thought. Surrounded by dreamers, she manages to make us look professional.


With a degree in engineering, chemistry and physics, Ásta could end world hunger... but chooses to make beer and whisky. Good choice.


He makes it. He drinks it. He sells it. He loves it. Beer.... it's his passion. He also has a degree in visual media and firmly believes that the world is his canvas.
Þoran now accepting pre-orders
by Richard Thomas

"Whiskey-making has spread to many new places around the world, places like Taiwan, Sweden, and Australia. Yet perhaps the most unlikely new entrant into national whiskey-making was the 2009 announcement of the Þoran Distillery project in Iceland. With a population of barely 320,000, the tiny island nation..."
Read the full article

We love Þoran
by David Walsh
"When Birgir Már Sigurðsson talks about his laboratory, it takes every sinew to suppress images of a cat-stroking Bond villain in his secret lair. Rather than some deadly toxin or menacing WMD, the secret work firmly under wraps at the lab on the outskirts of Reykjavik is the refining of an Icelandic single malt whisky."
Read the full article



A few companies have been kind enough to offer us their help and services. These companies believe in the ongoing success of Þoran and without them, we wouldn't be where we are today.



We really want to hear from you, so leave us a message and we promise to get back to you as soon as possible.

Looking to buy a cask? Need more info? Looking for other whisky enthusiasts to compare tasting notes with?


Use the form on the left to get in touch with us. You can also follow our progress on the various social networks listed at the bottom of the page.


Þoran Distillery ehf.

Vínlandsleið 12

113 Reykjavik