English distilleries are currently living a big hype and unfortunately, it is not easy to find them in the US immediately. We have been seeing new single malt whiskies emerging and The Lakes Single Malt Whisky is one of them. The distillery was found in 2011 by Paul Currie. In the first years, they came up with blended whiskies, gin and vodka. In 2016, former the Macallan whiskymaker Dhavall Gandhi joined the team and slowly changed the character of the whiskies to a Sherry matured led character.
I made up my mind to get a bottle somehow after I have watched Dhavall Gandhi on a Zoom call during the first months of quarantine.
Anyway, I just got a hold one of their single malt bottles, The Lakes Whiskymaker's Reserve No.3. I believe it is produced around 9700 bottles. The whisky is aged in Oloroso, PX casks sourced from Andalucia as well as some Cream Sherry casks and red wine barrels to add more complexity.
At 54% abv, you encounter an intense and rich nose with fragrant spices, chocolate red fruits and more. Given some time, the intensity softens and opens up to a well balanced, complex nose. The palate is juicy with prunes, milk chocolate, toffee, red fruits and spices. The finish is lovely with sandalwood, peppers, it just gave me lots of joy!
One of the interesting and important details in whisky making process of The Lakes Distillery is the selection of yeast. They currently use a unique combination of yeast strains that we use on different days and these are blended at the end of the week. Also, the fermentation period is 96 hours, which is way over the industry average.
Also, The Lakes Whiskymaker's Reserve No.3 is reminding me of Paul John Oloroso Select Cask and Paul John PX Select Cask. It is not just because of the styles of these whiskies but also for some other reasons. The PX and Oloroso barrels are sourced from Andalucia for both brands. Also the whiskymaker for The Lakes, Dhaval Gandhi and the Master Distiller for Paul John, Michael d'Souza are both taking place in all the stages of the whisky making process.
Thanks to the team at The Lakes Distillery to create such a lovely whisky. It gives wonderful hope for the future of English whiskies.