English whisky. It’s a combination of words that raises an eyebrow where I live (Scotland).
The Lakes Distillery have been working on their The One blended whisky since they opened in December 2014. Their website describes the whisky as being made from ‘exceptional whiskies from around the British Isles’. Not just Scotland then, which is interesting.
The distillery was founded by Paul Currie, who’s dad, Harold, founded Arran Single Malt Distillery. There is whisky in those veins then. In addition to that, production is overseen by one of Scotland’s foremost whisky experts, Alan Rutherford (former production director at Diageo and council member of the Scotch Whisky Association).
So, until their own single malt is ready to bottle in early 2018, they are putting their efforts into establishing themselves as whisky contenders with The One.
When The Lakes Distillery first suggested running a competition to give away a 5cl bottle, I wasn’t bowled over with such a small prize. Then I saw the pack and changed my mind. The three miniatures looked great together and I was certainly looking forward to getting my hands on them. I was curious as to what an English distillery would produce.
The whisky is not a bland mix at all. It may be their first whisky, but they’ve not been shy about it. There’s a dose of peat but nothing that would put anyone off if smoky whisky wasn’t their thing. In that sense, they’ve created something with a really good balance, which is, after all, what a blended whisky is meant to do.
It’s toffee and earthy on the nose, slightly smokey and honey on the palette and a slight spice on the aftertaste.
There aren’t many blended whiskies that lead so boldly with a smoky taste. The Lakes Distillery have said that this is the same ballpark as they are aiming for with their malt, which will be interesting journey.
At just under £30 a bottle, it is a fair bit more expensive than it’s peers. It is offering something different to the crowd, though, so if mildly peaty and golden is your thing, then it may be something worth checking out.