Last month, The Lake District was awarded UNESCO World Heritage status, placing it alongside the likes of Arizona’s Grand Canyon, the Great Wall of China and Australia’s Great Barrier Reef. Most will know the region for its picturesque scenery, numerous trekking routes and the impact it has had on some of the UK’s most canonical writers. However, this stunning spot in Cumbria has even more to offer the intrepid weekend wanderer than breath-taking views and cultural tourism. The Lake District is also home to one of Sated’s favourite distilleries – the appropriately named The Lakes Distillery.
Nestled amongst the rolling hills along the banks of Lake Bassenthwaite, The Lakes Distillery is home to not only a three-year-old distillery but also a multi-award-winning tourist attraction and Michelin guide featured bistro, all held within a converted Victorian cattle farm.
Founded by whisky maven, Paul Currie (co-founder of the award-winning Arran distillery), the goal was to create world leading gin, vodka and whisky that utilised the Lakes’ abundance of wild Cumbrian juniper and other foraged botanicals, as well as a water source with the exceptional purity of 0.5 (0 being perfection and 100+ being not so good). The very first distillation of the eagerly anticipated, The Lakes Single Malt, began to flow on the 16th December 2014 and is currently ‘sleeping’, ready to be released as The Lake District’s first single malt in 100 years.
“As a destination, The Lake District is already a brand worldwide and one of England’s most famous sites, which is great for us. It is a wonderful environment for us to work in and the water from the River Derwent is fantastic”, says Paul. “Whisky is the core of what we are doing at The Lakes Distillery but we always planned to do gin and vodka too. With the growth of these craft spirits over the past few years, there has been a great opportunity here for us to create something unique and exciting.”
They have certainly succeeded in this with the spirits industry, gin-loving public and whisky aficionados embracing them with open arms. 2017 began with a double win at The Global Distillery Masters 2017, where The Lakes Distillery won a ‘Master’ medal for Consumer Experience, with the judges commenting on the initiative of the distillery “to show whisky ageing, even when the liquid isn’t yet ready for bottling”. The super-premium The Lakes Gin Explorer Edition (read our review here) was permanently brought into the distillery’s family of spirits in April after the original 2,200 limited edition bottles sold out in summer 2016. To date, The Explorer Edition has received 2 IWSC medals, with a silver medal in the ‘Gin and Tonic’ category and a Silver medal in the International Spirits Category 2017.
Despite the speed at which they are permeating the market and the hearts of all who come across their products, they are showing no sign of slowing down, previewing a new range of liqueurs, including the fresh Lakes Elderflower Gin Liqueur, the strong and expressive Lakes Espresso Vodka Liqueur and aromatic Lakes Salted Caramel Vodka Liqueur, at this year’s Imbibe Live, which will be launched before the end of the year.
To find out more about The Lakes Distillery at its products, please visit the website here.