Three Whisky blogging travellers taking route to explore the mystical island of Islay in the search for distillery glory and scrumptious drams. These are the records of that adventure.
Day 0 (Not really Islay yet!)
On our quest from the West Country to a rest off at Glasgow it seemed silly not to drop into one of the newest distilleries in England.
Currently under extensive construction on the site of a Victorian farm in the Lake District near Cockermouth, the Lakes Distillery is shaping up to be a focal point of tourism and spirits creation. It’s in a beautiful part of the English countryside along side lake Bassenthwaite. Taking its water supply from River Derwent.
Currently nearing completion of the still house, the distillery will shortly start the production of their gin. The Lakes Gin will be flowing from the stills mid September. With the tuning and initial creation of their single malt spirit following closely behind. Initially some 130,000 litres will be running from the stills per year, with a total capacity of quarter of a million litres when in full production.
It really is a very impressive set up. Boasting a prestige bistro dining environment, Whisky making tour experiences and business facilities.
Paul Currie (Founder and Managing Director) was kind enough to show me and Steve around the development, the still house and on site demo warehousing. The still is newly installed and has an interesting feature if being able to utilise a choice of condensers. A traditional copper condenser and an experimental condenser constructed from stainless steel. The belief is prolonged contact of the spirit during distilling with copper can have a detrimental effect on the final flavour of the spirit. So, by experimenting with the alternative condenser, a significantly different flavour profile could be produced giving a variation on the distilleries final product.
For maturation some further very interesting experiments will be taken with non conventional wood types. As the Lakes Distillery is an English Whisky producing distillery, they are not bound to the requirements of the SWA, and so new and different woods (chestnut etc) can be utilised to experiment with the final flavour of the matured Whisky.
The Lakes Distillery intend to release these experiments as single cask releases when they are ready, detailing the type of spirit produced and the new and varied maturation methods utilised.
The Lakes Distillery also has a very cute pot still which is going to be used for their gin.
Some very exciting times lay ahead for this truly artisan Whisky producer and I can’t wait to experience the products throughout development and into the final released product.
Their current available Whisky, the One Blend, is one I have just sampled and you can read my review here.
An exciting start to our tour! Seeing the new, the future and upcoming birth of new born Whisky!
As day 1 of our trip came to an end we met up with mate and fellow blogger Tom Thomson and have a brief catch up with a pint of the apple stuff, then settling for a short sleep before our next day began. As rest beckons. The snoring started….STEVE!!! 🙂