My first encounter with The Lakes Distillery came last year, when I had the chance to taste the distillery’s gin and British blended whisky, The One. Fast forward almost two years and here are three new releases from one of the country’s fastest growing distilleries.
15 Month Old Bourbon Matured Spirit – 40% ABV
Here’s something interesting to kick things off with – The Lakes very first spirit. Thus far, the distillery has been relying on The One, whilst it waits on its own whisky to come of age, meaning this is a sneak peek of things to come.
The nose of this was very nutty to start with, along with some oak from the wood. This was accompanied by some vanilla and a sweet hint of chocolate, along with a tiny hint of citrus. The palate was very smooth and clean, with lots of vanilla sweetness and a peppery bite. A sign of things to come!
The ONE Limited Edition Tawny Port Finish – 40% ABV
Limited to just 3,740 bottles, this is formed of whiskies expertly blended, before being married together and placed into Tawny Port casks. These casks have previously been used to mature port for between 10 and 15 years, from grapes grown in the Cima Corgo area of Portugal.
There’s a much light nose on this one – almost like golden syrup. It’s very nutty too, with a hint of nutmeg and some fresh strawberries too. The lightness transfers to the palate, which is very, very light. Again, it’s nutty and fruity, but not as sweet as the nose.
The Lakes Gin: Explorer Edition – 47.1% ABV
Building on the strong base established by The Lakes Gin, the new Explorer Edition pays homage to its Cumbrian provenance, by using a mix of 15 carefully selected botanicals, including local juniper and six others which are native to the Lake District.
So this already goes near the top of my list, as it’s a gin that actually tastes of juniper! Strong juniper! Earthy herbal flavours also come through, along with a zing of lemony citrus. It’s standing as a good, robust gin transfers to the palate, yet it’s surprisingly smooth. There’s also some peppery notes and a sweet, caramel sweetness.
Both whiskies were a touch too light for me but the gin was just perfect!
For more information on The Lakes Distillery, log on to www.lakesdistillery.com