RSS Feeds

Advanced search

You are in:


London Distillery Co to produce single malts

Battersea-based distilling company, The London Distillery Company, has been granted London’s first licence to produce single malt whisky in over a century and today sees its initial British spirit flow from the still. The boutique distillery, which has been producing Dodd’s Gin since Spring 2013, is the first whisky distillery in London since Lea Valley in Stratford closed in the early 1900s.

The whisky will be distilled in a 650 litre copper pot still, ‘Matilda’, named after co-founder and CEO Darren Rook’s Scottish grandmother.

In keeping with the distillery’s focus on sustainability and sourcing locally where possible, the barley is sourced from Warminster Maltings, Wiltshire, 100 miles from the distillery. The yeast is supplied by Surebrew in Surrey and the company is using historical London brewing strains.

Darren Rook comments: “It is not widely known that the capital has a great heritage of whisky production dating back to before Chaucer. Since meeting co-founder, Nick Taylor, it has taken just over three years of hard work from the early concept to get to where we are today. We are really excited to be part of a new chapter in the city’s distilling legacy.

“This is really only the start of the journey as we have some time until the whisky reaches its optimum. We’re aiming to create an historical style of single malt with a great depth of flavour and floral backbone. That said, thanks to our small size and the equipment, we are not limited to one style. One fermentation will fill one cask, so we are able to experiment and create bespoke whiskies.”

Annually the company has capacity to fill up to 100 casks. During the development stages Rook has been working with master whisky distiller and blender, John C McDougall, and whisky industry consultant and wood specialist, Dr Jim Swan. The team will continue to work with them both at regular intervals over the coming years.

Rook, a former London branch manager for the Scotch Malt Whisky Society and Master of Malt strategic project manager, and Nick Taylor from corporate finance house Envestors, founded the London Distilling Company in 2011. Their first release, Dodd’s Gin, is a small batch gin using organic botanicals, which include: juniper, angelica, fresh lime peel, bay laurel, cardamom, red raspberry leaf and London honey. A significant proportion of the ingredients are first distilled in ‘Christina’, a traditional 140-litre copper alembic, with the more delicate botanicals being reserved for ‘Little Albion’, The London Distillery Company’s state-of-the-art cold vacuum still. Dodd’s Gin is non-chill filtered, bottled at 49.9% abv with an RRP of £36.95 per 50cl bottle.

Pictured: Darren Rook, CEO and co-founder of The London Distillery Company

12 December 2013 - Felicity Murray The Drinks Report, editor