Published on December 16th, 2014 | by Alastair Gilmour


Where drams have really come true

What do you need in a new business venture? Faith? Hope? Luck? Love? All four in equal measure would do for a start, so it’s just as well that more than 30 four-leaf clover stone carvings representing the maxims can be found on the walls of The Lakes Distillery, which is gearing up for its first production run this month.

The Lakes Distillery – backed by North East enterprise, entrepreneurs and enthusiasm – sits by the River Derwent in Cumbria, right on the edge of Bassenthwaite Lake in the Lake District National Park. Cumbria is remote, wet and beautiful, therefore is ideal whisky-producing country. Water – the vital ingredient – is drawn from the river which springs from Sprinkling Tarn, high in the fells, then makes its way to the valley through the peaty foothills of Scafell Pike, England’s highest mountain.

Single malt whisky production is due to start this month and the final dram is expected to be much like Highland malts which tend to be light and golden with a floral softness of character, a sweet nature with a rounded, lightly peated body. First production will be ready from 2017.

The Lakes Distillery is already at the cutting edge of whisky making and not only are the copper pot stills designed to an exclusive pattern it will be the first UK distillery (there are now five in England) to use copper and stainless steel vessels together in the process which will develop a malt with greater character and depth.

The experienced team behind The Lakes Distillery includes managing director Paul Currie who co-founded the Arran Distillery in 1995; master distiller Chris Anderson who has more than 30 years’ experience, and Alan Rutherford, a former production director at Diageo.

The North East contingent (with offices in Gosforth, Newcastle) includes Brian Jobling, chairman of Eutechnyx, the Gateshead-based world-leader in games technology; Nigel Mills, chairman of the Entrepreneurs Forum. Renowned chef Terry Laybourne is orchestrating the distillery bistro.

The tourism potential in the distillery’s stone-built former barns and cowsheds is enormous with a shop, bistro and bar running alongside.

Find out more and about The One whisky, the exclusive Founders’ Club and Connoisseurs’ Club at www.lakesdistillery.com

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Alastair Gilmour

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