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The ONE Lakes whisky goes global

The first whisky from a new distillery being built in England's Lake District has already gone global.

The Lakes Distillery is a £5m investment and will be the biggest distillery in England when it opens later this year. This June sees the stills delivered on site to start production of The Lakes Malt, The Lakes Gin and The Lakes Vodka, the latter two produced in September for UK sales and export.

The ONE whisky is the first blended whisky to be produced from whiskies from around the British Isles, as opposed to blends made only of Scotch whiskies, and has been created by The Lakes Distillery team that includes former Isle of Arran Distillers co-founder, Paul Currie, and Chris Anderson, master distiller, formerly of Dewars.

Only a few months after its UK launch last Autumn, The ONE blend has already clinched distribution deals in The Netherlands, France and Belgium, and will launch in the UAE this May.

The Lakes Distillery managing director, Paul Currie, said on his return from an Eastern Europe trade mission this month: “To create The ONE, we searched far and wide to bring together a range of very special whiskies from the British Isles. These have been blended with great care and passion to create a perfectly balanced whisky and, as we hoped, exports have taken off in a big way already.

“As well as the distribution deals already secured, we are in talks with partners in Spain and Poland, and have other territories in Europe and Asia in our sights.

“We all know the global success story of Scotch, and now England is seeing a real whisky boom with several new distilleries planned to open this year. Our £5m development at Bassenthwaite Lake in Cumbria will be the biggest new distillery in England and the first official one in the Lakes. Building work is well underway and we plan to start production of whisky, gin and vodka in the summer and open our bistro, tours and shop to the public by the December 2014.

“The ONE is an important brand for us in the growing premium whisky sector, and it has received an outstanding response both with its smooth taste and innovative packaging designed by a Newcastle-based agency, Hedley McEwan. We will start production of The Lakes Malt in the summer, and we also plan for that to be a global brand. The stills arrive in the June and our experienced team, who all have decades of distillery experience, are now very excited about creating a new quality malt from scratch.”

A select number of whisky enthusiasts around the world are invited to become part of the early stages of The Lakes Distillery story. The company has launched a Connoisseurs’ Club, where just 60 members can come to the distillery to make their own whisky, fill their own rare sherry cask, and then come to annual tasting ceremonies when they can taste their maturing whisky.

In addition, the Lakes Distillery will set aside the first 100 casks of malt whisky produced exclusively for members of its Founders’ Club. Each year for ten years, members will then receive one 70cl bottle and two tasting bottles, making up a collectible set of the distillery’s first ever production.

Currey, Anderson and the team behind the Lakes Distillery, which also includes Alan Rutherford the former production director of Diageo, are renovating the historic buildings of a Victorian farm next to the river Derwent with its source high up in the fells and close to Bassenthwaite Lake, with the aim to produce a new world-class single malt whisky.

The Lakes Distillery will open to the public in late 2014. The Lakes single malt will begin production this summer, and will be ready to taste in 2015. Its blended whisky from the British Isles, called The ONE is available to buy now. It has a very high malt content and its quality is in line with single malt whiskies.

Distribution: Netherlands - launched Dec with Van Wees; France - launching this month with La Maison du Whisky; Belgium - launching this month with Nectar
; UAE - launching in May with MMI
; Spain/Poland - currently in discussions with potential distributors.


6 May 2014 - Felicity Murray The Drinks Report, editor