Meet The Maker: Thordur Sigurdsson

What is a Master Distiller?

Master distiller is the person who is responsible for the production and quality of the final spirit product.

How long have you been doing what you do?

I‘ve been a distiller since 2005 when Reyka Vodka was launched. I‘ve been the master distiller since 2012.

When did you have your eureka moment / When did you realise that Reyka would be amazing?

On my second day working as a distiller, I found the true differences that Reyka Vodka had from other world known Vodka brands.

Why did you set it up / what made you become a master distiller?

Time has led me in this direction. From working in engineering & then becoming a distiller, I liked it a lot! Then, as time progressed & I learnt more I became the master distiller.

What do you do when you are not making alcohol?

When I´m not making alcohol I´m either working as a police officer or as a fire fighter. As well as a master distiller I am also a part time police officer and a member in the local fire fighter team. On top of that I am also a father to four children.

Who have inspired you?

My grandfather lived on a farm located close to where the distillery site is now, he knew that water from the lava field sources would be best water ever, so he constructed pipes from the farm house to the nearest lava field (approx 15km of plumbing) so that he could get the purest water in the whole area. My grandmother still lives at the farm and she is 97 years old this year.

Advice for other people looking to start their own distillery?

Have a lot of patience!

If you had a super power what would it be?

If? It‘s quite obvious that I have a super power!

What’s been your biggest achievement?

At work: Reyka winning best Vodka at the 2011 international wine and spirit competition (IWSC).
Personal: My children.

Who would play you in a movie?

Brad Pitt if he was better looking.

Tell us something amazing about the alcohol drinks industry?

It was illegal to sell beer in Iceland until 1989!

Do you have any quirky or OCD rituals?

No, I have not.

Other alcohol brands you respect?

Hendricks gin, Balvenie whiskey and Glenfiddich and of course Icelandic Brennivin.

Worst day at work?

There is no bad day!

Best day at work?

Everyday!