About our master distiller

Laurent Lafuente,
nothing short of exceptional.

Laurent Lafuente, the esteemed Master Distiller and Chief Alchemist at Norfolk Reserve, embodies a legacy of expertise shaped by an illustrious educational journey and over three decades of dedication to the art of distillation. With a solid foundation in engineering, biochemistry, and oenology, Laurent’s distillation pursuits have been nothing short of exceptional.

He embarked on his academic journey by acquiring a Baccalaureate in Biochemistry in France in the period of 1985-1988. Following this, he pursued further studies in Biotechnology and Agri-biological Analysis at Ecole Nationale de Formation Agronomique, Toulouse, France, between 1989 and 1991. His educational pinnacle culminated in an Engineer HES degree in Oenology and Master Distillation from Ecole d’Ingénieur HES in Switzerland between 1996 and 1999.

Laurent’s unparalleled dedication to perfecting his craft over the past three decades is evidenced by his extensive track record of awards and accolades. His remarkable contributions have elevated Norfolk Reserve Premium Canadian Whisky to unprecedented heights. He has been honored with numerous prestigious awards including the Canadian Artisan Spirit Awards for consecutive years from 2018 to 2022, ADI Seattle recognitions in 2014, 2016, and 2017, the Best BC award in Vancouver in 2014, as well as accolades from the San Francisco Wine & Spirits Competition in 2004, 2005, 2022 and All Canadian Championships in 2018, 2019, and 2020. Additionally, he has been acknowledged at the Great American Spirits Competition in 2017 and the Finger Lakes Competition spanning 2016-2017.

Laurent’s contributions to the field of distillation extend beyond awards. He has co-authored pivotal research publications in fruit brandy distillation such as “Eaux-de-vie de fruits à noyau : vers une diminution de leur teneur en carbamate d’éthyle” in Revue des Œnologues and “Influence du type d’embouteillage sur la teneur en carbamate d’éthyle dans les eaux-de-vie de fruits à noyau” in Revue Suisse Vitic. Arboric. Hortic.

With his wealth of knowledge, innovative spirit, and dedication to excellence, Laurent Lafuente stands as a visionary in the art of distillation, contributing significantly to Norfolk Reserve’s legacy of crafting exceptional spirits.

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We appreciate your interest in Norfolk Reserve and look forward to connecting with you. Your journey into the world of fine Canadian whiskey starts here.