Created with French oak and a sense of adventure; Bal Masque. | The Lakes Distillery Created with French oak and a sense of adventure; Bal Masque. – The Lakes Distillery

An artistic expression of creative freedom, The Whiskymaker’s Editions are a diversion from our sherry-led house style. A series of limited-edition single malt whiskies, they allow our whiskymaker to play with different elements and nuances, to create something special.

With the intrinsic objective to create intriguing flavours, Bal Masque bears the mystery and seduction of a masquerade ball.

Originally associated with Carnival, masquerade has always been a beacon of freedom, where people find an escape from the norm and respite from social rule and order.

Paying homage to its risqué nature, our whiskymaker, Dhavall Gandhi, has conducted enigmatic French oak casks to create a complex and aromatic whisky that showcases our sense of adventure.

A complex combination of French oak

Typically, we use American, Spanish, and French oak to mature our whisky. With unlimited nuances in the way the wood is dried, toasted, and seasoned, each of the infinite variations has a different impact on the maturing spirit as it nurtures and transforms the whisky’s flavour and colour.

To create a sense of intrigue and seduction, with Bal Masque we used only French oak to mature the whisky. Working with French oak for primary maturation can be tricky in comparison to using American and Spanish oak, but the results can be quite fascinating.

When used exclusively, the abundance of tannins and wood extractives can create a beautifully seductive and mysterious character.

French oak adds a unique personality to the whisky by invoking complex notes of vanilla, nutmeg, cloves, and aromatic incense.

And here, we have used a complex combination of two different types of French oak; Quercus Petraea and Quercus Robur. Previously used as wine casks, Petraea’s fine grain brings sweet characteristics to the whisky, while Robur’s creates spicy and aromatic top notes.


A sense of adventure

To make a whisky reminiscent of a moment or emotion, you must be brave.

Each Edition begins in our Whiskymaker’s Studio, where we define the flavours we want to create. Working back through the entire process, we carefully control every parameter in the whisky’s journey through the distillery – including the many nuances of the cask’s make-up – to produce the flavours we are looking for.

It is here, amongst the complexity, that we build the palette of an artist, the flavour foundations that – through the art of blending – will become the brush strokes of our final masterpiece.

With Bal Masque, its beauty derives from the mercurial, not the obvious. Forbidden orchard fruits abound and entwine on the tongue with sweet sensory spices, raisins, vanilla and nutmeg, and subtle background notes of toasted almonds and incense.

A complex and aromatic whisky, flavours and aromas mingle like masked revellers with featherlight touches, coquettish flourishes and always the promise of more.

Sold out at LakesDistillery.com, The Whiskymaker’s Editions – Bal Masque is available from specialist whisky stores throughout the UK.

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