You would expect countries with a tradition of making alcohol from grain to make whisky, and ones in which grape is the main source for alcoholic beverages to have little interest in it. This is not the case at all. Outside the traditional territories of Ireland and Scotland, there is no long whisky-making tradition in Europe. You would expect beer making countries such as Germany, Belgium and the Netherlands to have distilled their products into whisky. Instead, they traditionally made either jenever or distilled fruits for fruit liqueurs.
There has been an explosion in distilleries making whisky across Europe in recent years, however, and some of it is very good indeed. Most of it is based on a pot-still production system, but much of it is made on small and unusually shaped stills, and some of it tastes radically different from Scottish single malt. A proportion of it, though, is outstanding, and there are at least five distilleries that are making a case for promotion to whisky world's premier league.