The samples on show included their unique blend "The One" and their own delicious gin, which brought me my first experience of properly tasting this fine spirit.
Opened in 2014, in a renovated 1850s Victorian farm, the Lakes Distillery is England's largest and has recently opened up it's doors to all who wish to make the trip to the Lake District's only distillery.
As with many new distilleries, Lakes Distillery have gotten themselves a nice little portfolio to keep us all entertained while we wait, patiently, for their own malt whisky to mature. To get the ball rolling they are producing their own vodka and gin whilst also having a seriously unique blend named "The One".
"The One" is unique in that fact that it contains whiskies sourced from each country of the British Isles including Ireland both North and South which, for my own interest, would suggest that there is Bushmills malt going on in here.
It would also confirm that one of the other whiskies involved is Penderyn from Wales and as for England's offering take your pick from St George's or Hicks and Healey. If I had to randomly guess I'd say St George's. To continue guessing I'd go for Southern Ireland being represented by Cooley which only leaves Scotland. This is where I'm completely stumped, some peated whisky has been used for sure but I'll not even begin to start speculating.
With regards to their malt, that's already maturing, first releases are due to be released in 2017 and will be lightly peated in the style of Highland malt but for now we will have to make do with what is already fit to drink and on that note I'll move onto the spirits sampled on the evening.
"The One" - Blended Whisky - 40% ABV
Nose - Light, fresh, candied lemon peel, light peppery smoke, gentle vanilla biscuit and milk chocolate. Definitely on the young side but shows a great vibrancy and verve. Tart citrus keeps the feel sharp before it becomes distinctly softer. Caramel, malt bread and sticky toffee pudding gives a light sense of sherry barrel influence and in all the balance of spice and spirit is delightful.
Palate - The grain shows itself more on the palate. Initially you get a hit of smoke that's almost bitter / acidic. The smoke is more evident here than what was found in the nose. White fruit with crunchy white apple and more lemon zing. The spice is is gentle and kind. Malty sweetness and some lovely oak feel appears which leads to a slight bitter dryness which is not unpleasant. Again, great balance.
Finish - In honesty a touch short and, to be fair, I didn't actually expect anything else from a 40% blend but to give credit were credit is due the finish does deliver on more green apple, fresh fruit salad and some more of that gentle smoke which is much more restrained in it's bitterness.
Overall - This is one of the finer blends I've ever had the pleasure of tasting. It displays, in my opinion, fantastic depth and quality and if this is a measure of what the Lakes Distillery are intent on releasing then we have some very exciting times ahead.
Lakes Distillery Gin - 43.7% ABV
(Made with juniper, bilberry, heather, meadowsweet)
Nose - Lavender, hairspray, orange blossom and a light herbal note. Immensely refreshing and when tasted as recommended, which is drunk when chilled in a freezer, you get a great sense of a hot summer evening in a glass. The fragrant notes continue with parma violets, limoncello and cucumber.
Palate - Light, clean and still hugely refreshing. Even more orange blossom, limoncello, light herbal spice and thyme.
Finish - Clean with a good last kick of citrus liqueur and clove.
Overall this is an excellent gin and one that's worth getting a hold of. Whilst having not settled myself down to properly taste gin before I have enjoyed many a G&T and can honestly say that this would be delicious in such a guise.
Fantastic stuff. This tasting was a great insight into where English distilling is going and the passion of those involved at Lakes Distillery can be found in the products they are already putting out there. If this continues into the craft and presentation of their single malt then it promises to be a belter.
All I have to say is a huge thank you to Steve Rush at TheWhiskyWire.com, where anyone can apply to join in the fun of the tweet tastings, and also a big thank you to Lakes Distillery for the excellent samples.
As with most of my updates I've included a number of relevant web links below.
Until next time,
The Whisky Wire - http://www.thewhiskywire.com
The Whisky Wire Twitter - https://twitter.com/TheWhiskyWire
Lakes Distillery webpage - http://www.lakesdistillery.com/en/
Lakes Distillery Twitter - https://twitter.com/LakesDistillery
Lakes Distillery Facebook - https://www.facebook.com/thelakesdistillery