We are a new distillery. To prosper we cannot play safe. We have to be true to the place, willing and happy to take risks, challenge convention, and be imbued with the creative urge to look for the sublime, and not the pretty and nice.
The final whisky must say I Am The Lakes.
Challenging convention doesn’t mean rejecting whisky’s heritage, but respecting it. If the whisky is to be ours, then it has to learn, take from experience of centuries, but also move it on in ways which are appropriate to this distillery. We have to take this model and interpret it our way.
to do so, we refer not just to the world of whisky but also to other industries
Dhavall looks to Cognac and how they slowly reduce the strength of their new spirit to mellow it out before filling it into cask, and then reducing it slowly in cask before bottling.
From Cognac, wine and sherry he has taken the concept of élévage - an active involvement during maturation. Rather than sealing a cask and waiting and then blending the result, winemakers, sherry producers, and Cognac’s cellarmasters will take their maturing wine or spirit and transfer it into different types or ages of casks depending on what flavour they want it to acquire.
Our whiskymaker's approach to blending has been inspired by perfumers who make new scents by first creating a pyramid of aromas with base, middle and top notes. That’s what lies behind the use of different yeasts. At the start of the week, one type is used to give top notes in the new make, a different one is used at the end of week to give the base. Then the two new makes are blended.
No other whiskymaker does this.
To make better whisky we have to ensure that there is continuous improvement. The place influences us in a myriad of ways, the people who work for us, our suppliers.
Donning a white coat and following a scientifically approved programme is not the way for us. We are open to the world and will use what is right, interpret these inspirations to fit what we think is right for The Lakes.