- To overview
Introducing yourself | Master Distiller Marcel van Roessel
March 23, 2022
'I know from A to Z how to make whiskey'
With a ferocious beard, friendly eyes and a broad smile, Marcel van Roessel (50) pours coffee while a colleague brings a sausage roll. The Oisterwijker who has a collection of special whiskies at home is also at home atthee Heische Hoeve in Loosbroek. Whisky ithede common thread in his lifThe De Master Distiller watches other de wood-fired distillation boiler, from which a jet of distillate flows in a controlled manTher. De rise of 'his' Bus Whisky, a distillate with a name and a story.
From Whisky Bus to Whisky Bus
"About thirty years ago I tried my first whisky, a Lagavulin, since then it has been whisky before and whisky after," he laughs. "The first glass I still didn't like, but after half an hour that changed and I tastedthee beautiful aromas. From that time on, I started to immerse myself in it. I went to tastings and events. I was working in construction but due to back problems I had to sit at home. After that I worked for eight years as a supervisor at a recycling company helping people who were distant frothede labor market. Withe de new Participation Act, I became redundant due to a merger/reclassificationthef de company. That's when I decided to change course. I took a liquor couthee, de coThese 'De Chemistry of Whiskey', and of course a social hygiene coursthe" At de same time, he founded a site: whiskybus.co.uk.
In a second-hand transport van he made a whisky bar with which he passed events, company parties and networking drinks. The Whisky Bus indeed. "Around that timethee Heische Hoeve had plans to build a new whisky distillery on Bus, a hamlet in Nistelrode. Bus Whisky. A neighbor was not happy about that and called me, thinking I would not agree witthede name. Things turned out differently. I decided to call owner Dennis Hurkmans and that was immediately an animated conversation in which it was suggested to travel with my Whisky Bus to Loosbroek to launthe de first batch when it came out. Some time later a friend alerted me to a vacancy 'Whisky distiller' at Bus Whisky. Marcel,' he said, 'you are whisky! Then everything fell into place. I responded immediately and invited myself for a cup of coffee. I was immediately enthusiastic abthet de productthend de method, but also saw that there was still considerable potential for improvement. Actually, thanks to that neighbor's complaint, I have my dream job and a beautiful whiskey.
The experience must be complete
I know from A to Z how to make whisky, how to get a fruit aroma for example. There was already a whisky, my predecessor made it. I looked at it for a while and said: good start, but we are going to raise the level of ambition.Thee process has been refined, think othede making the de wothe (de sugar water), thatheis de beginning of distillithe in de right way maTheing. De distilling process itself has also been improved. And," he laughs, "I would venture to sthe that de distillate has also improved as a result." thethough de latter remainsThe guess. the whiskey de Master Distiller has created the still in de makithe. "It's in de barrel. And a lot is still happening in it. It's like a work of art. It gets better very slowly and there comes a time when it's finished. And that is again a matter of tasting. My nose is trainetheto pick out de aromas. Everything haTheto be rtheht. De smethe, de taste aThe de aftertaste. De experience has to be complete, everything has to be right and in perfect balance. And it works, we won a nithe silver medal at de London Spirit Competition in early 2020 and again in 2021 with our sherry finish and that is no coincidence.
My ambition? To improve the whisky, that is my passion and that is possible at De Heische Hoeve and Bus Whisky where there is literally and figuratively allthee space you need to work. We are of course proud othede silver medals, but I am going for gold," he says with a broad smile on his face. For that, there is work to be done. "I am not only Master Distiller but also do everything around it. They also leathe de pickingthef de best barrels to me. That way I can really keep working on a beautiful whisky. I've made my hobby my job. And at home? There I started doing something else, there I now brew my own beer..."