The Art of Whisky Blending
If single malt whisky is all about flavour, then the art of whisky creation is to elevate flavours and control nuances to make something special; a whisky that connects with people on an emotional level.
At The Lakes Distillery, we approach whiskymaking in the same way an artist creates a work of art.
"Each of The Whiskymaker's Editions represents a different art form every time. Unique, of the moment, and never to be repeated, they are singular expressions of creative and artistic freedom that convey emotions, ideas and feels through the language of whisky."
THE LAKES WHISKYMAKER, DHAVALL GANDHI
in the making
Using our canvas to create the masterpiece
New Make Spirit is our canvas - the surface upon which we paint.
Depending upon our requirements, different characteristics are used to influence the final experience and appearance.
Taking inspiration from perfumers, who craft new scents by creating a pyramid of aromas, we make our canvas by activating a combination of three different yeasts on different days of the week. Blending these individual distillates is how we make the character of The Lakes Spirit.
Making a new whisky requires a framework of sorts, but there has to be room within it to play. That means not just creating flavour in the spirit, but opening up more flavour possibilities throughout the spirit’s journey through the distillery.
That’s where the casks come in. During maturation, they create the flavours – or colours – with which we paint.
With unlimited variations, each type of oak gives a different result, as does the size of the cask, what it held previously, and the length of time the whisky spends maturing. By using only the finest, meticulously sourced casks, and knowing each one intimately, we can nurture and develop the evolving flavours to highlight specific characteristics and nuances, but it is blending where the individual brushstrokes are made to create the final masterpiece.
Whisky blending is the brushstrokes
A common misconception is that single malt whisky means a single batch or single cask.
Instead, it refers to whisky from a single distillery, which, unless highlighted as a single cask, has undoubtedly been blended from whisky matured in many different casks.
Traditionally, blending is used to create consistency or, rather, remove inconsistencies in single malt. With The Whiskymaker’s Editions, it is where our whisky is designed.
Experimenting with blending as an art form - thanks to decades of experience and a flair for flavour – this is where our whiskymaker has fun with the different elements, exploring the subtleties of flavour to paint a unique and very different picture to that of our house style.
By understanding how flavours can be blended with others to complement, enhance, deepen, broaden, or contrast, we explore the full range of senses, changing the experience for the drinker by altering the whisky’s appearance, aroma, and taste.
From sweet, bitter, and sour, to astringent, creamy, or pungent characteristics, the goal of our whiskymaker is to play with them all, adding layers of complexity that, when finished, will reflect emotions, feelings and thoughts through the language of whisky.
Blending is also where we define the whisky’s ABV. For the blender, the strength of alcohol brings the whisky into focus. The aroma, flavour and character are all affected, and it is the balance between strength and flavour that defines the final level.
Dynamic, creative, expressive, and personal, blending comes from the heart and we stop when we have the mix right and make as much as we can from the casks we have available. That determines the quantity.
The Lakes Whiskymaker in the blending studio. Dhavall will nose and sample 300 or 400 whiskies in a blending session, working with music, at different times of the day, and different lighting in the creation process.