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The One from the Lakes
The Lakes Distillery is situated in an old farm steading near Keswick in the picturesque Lake District. Like many new distilleries, there was a need to establish a source of income whilst their spirit matured into whisky. Distillery tours and an onsite cafe contribute towards this, but there’s nothing quite like having your own product to sell. The Lakes faced the situation head-on by creating vodka, liqueurs, gin and even their own blended whiskies.
At the forefront of this was The One, a blend of whiskies originally branded “British Whisky”, complete with Union Jack packaging. Grain was sourced from Northern Ireland, whilst the malt components came from both Scotland and England. It enjoyed some success but it wasn’t until Dhavall Gandhi was brought to the Lakes to serve as head whisky maker that the brand really found its feet. Now with the Lakes’ own spirit forming the backbone of the blend, the tacky packaging has gone. There’s now a sleek, classic look and the strength has been increased to 46.1%, with each bottling at natural colour, without chill-filtration.
As well as their “Signature Blend”, the Lakes have produced several versions of The One, sporting interesting cask finishes that bring something new to the flavour profile. There’s been an excellent Sherry Expression as well as Port Casks and even an Orange Wine Cask bottling. Continuing in the same vein is their latest version, this time finished in Moscatel Casks.
Moscatel wine is produced from the grape of the same name. They can be used fresh but are more commonly sun-dried, reducing the water content and increasing the concentration of sugars, thereby altering the pressed juice’s viscosity, flavour, and aroma. Fermentation is halted by fortification with grape spirit, boosting the strength to between 15 and 22%. Moscatel is a sweet, aromatic wine, often paired with fruits or ice cream.
For this latest incarnation of The One, Lakes’ whisky maker Dhavall Gandhi finished the blend in American Oak casks seasoned with Moscatel wine. Bottled at 46.6%, it retails at £48.
Full disclosure: I was sent this sample free of charge. As always I will strive to give an honest opinion on the quality of the dram and the value for money it represents.
Smell: Honey. Nutty. Green grapes. Apple pastries with cinnamon. More baking spices. Freshly squeezed orange juice. Wee touch of lime.
Taste: Raisins. Honey. Vanilla. Walnut, orange and woody spices. Lovely mouthfeel. Slightly dry, fresh sawn oak finish.
Thoughts: This latest release very much carries on the good work of recent offerings and at £48 it offers an extremely satisfying, complex sip.
What a turnaround it has been for this brand. The bottle looks classy and the liquid inside matches it. There’s a beautiful texture as it glides over the palate which really helps to coat the mouth with the full flavour of the whisky. The Moscatel seems to have worked really well with the component whiskies and created something harmonious and coherent. The best blends don’t feel like a blend and this one feels like the whiskies were meant to be put together in this way, with this finish. Lovely stuff. The Lakes Distillery goes from strength to strength.
If the whisky reviewed in this article has caught your eye, you can buy it from Master of Malt at the link below. Please be aware that I can be paid commission as an affiliate. Other retailers are available.
Buy The One Moscatel Cask Finish here