The first whisky to come from a brand new £5m distillery being built in the Lake District has already gone global.
The ONE, which is the first blend ever to be produced from quality whiskies from around the British Isles, has been created by The Lakes Distillery team, which includes former Isle of Arran Distillers co- founder Paul Currie, and master distiller Chris Anderson, formerly of Dewars.
Only a few months after its UK launch last autumn, the product has already clinched distribution deals in The Netherlands, France and Belgium. This month, it will also launch in the UAE.
The Lakes Distillery managing director, Paul Currie, who attended a trade mission in Eastern Europe recently, said: “To create The ONE, we searched far and wide to bring together a range of very special whiskies from the British Isles. These have been blended with great care and passion to create a perfectly balanced whisky and, as we hoped, exports have taken off in a big way already.
“As well as the distribution deals already secured, we are in talks with partners in Spain and Poland, and have other territories in Europe and Asia in our sights.”
He added that while Scotch was already a “global success story”, England was also now seeing a “real whisky boom”, with several new distilleries planned to open this year.
The firm’s £5m development at Bassenthwaite Lake in Cumbria will be the biggest new distillery in England and the first official distillery in the Lakes.
“Building work is well underway and we plan to start production of whisky, gin and vodka in the summer and open our bistro, tours and shop to the public by the December 2014,” Currie said.
“The ONE is an important brand for us in the growing premium whisky sector, and it has received an outstanding response both with its smooth taste and innovative packaging.
“We will start production of The Lakes Malt in the summer, and we also plan for that to be a global brand.
“The stills arrive in the June and our experienced team, who all have decades of distillery experience, are now very excited about creating a new quality malt from scratch.”
The company has also launched a Connoisseurs’ Club, through which just 60 members can come to the distillery to make their own whisky, fill their own rare sherry casks, then attend annual tasting ceremonies when they can sample their maturing whisky.
It will likewise set aside the first 100 casks of malt whisky for members of its Founders’ Club, who each year for ten years will receive a 70cl bottle and two tasting bottles, making up a collectible set of the distillery’s first ever production.