In its highest form, whisky making is a dance between science and art, control and creativity. It necessitates being sensitive to how the climate affects the conversation between oak and air and spirit; and flowing new ideas around this frame.

Tucked away in a beautifully remodelled Victorian farmstead among the natural splendour of the Lake District is a distillery hoping to achieve precisely that, and put England on the whisky-making map in the process.

Respecting tradition but refusing to be bound by it, The Lakes Distillery’s modern approach has led to a cluster of international awards, including the honour of the world's best single malt whisky, bestowed on The Whiskymaker's Reserve No.4 by the whisky industry's finest at the 2022 World Whiskies Awards.

It was a historic feat for a distillery that has been operational for only eight years, but it appears that this design-led whisky-maker is at the start of its journey as it strives to, in its own words, "push the boundaries of whisky flavour creation."

The art of élevage

Priding itself on "looking not only at what whisky is but what it can become," The Lakes Distillery’s approach to maturation and blending defines The Lakes Single Malt Whisky.

This is where the majority of whisky’s flavour is created, and everything revolves around their state-of-the-art Blending Studio. Operating in reverse, it's where the flavours are conceptualised, the new make spirit is designed, and the finest bespoke-made oak casks are selected to orchestrate the flavours the distilling team is looking for.

The Lakes Distillery in Cumbria
The cask warehouse at The Lakes Distillery

Rather than sealing the casks and simply waiting to blend the result, after three years of maturation, the complex art of élevage begins. Identifying the casks that create their whisky’s core characteristics, they make intentional changes to evolve an abundance of new and intriguing flavours.

Changing the location and climate of maturing casks, moving the whisky between cask types and blending whisky from different casks, they layer flavours and complexity at every stage. And with infinite steps in the élevage process, there are infinite possibilities for intricate flavour creation.

With the whisky continuously assessed, when it reaches the peak of its maturity, it is blended to create The Lakes Single Malt Whisky. The liquids are married together for up to a year before bottling, and this patient and proactive approach creates depth and complexity and sets The Lakes Whisky apart.

The Whiskymaker’s Reserve No.5

Available from specialist whisky retailers and the finest bars and venues, The Whiskymaker’s Reserve No.5 is its latest artistic exploration of maturation and blending, flavour evolution, and defining a signature sherry-led style for The Lakes Single Malt.

Matured in Oloroso, PX, and red wine casks, comprising Spanish and American oak, it is an elegant and Moorish-influenced evolution in the brand's internationally award-winning series of single malts.

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