The Lakes Distillery will become the first whisky distillery to operate in the English Lake District in more than 100 years. The £2.5 million venture, which has been founded by a consortium of private investors, will be headed by Paul Currie (pictured), co-founder of the award-winning Isle of Arran distillery in Scotland. It is set to open on the edge of picturesque Bassenthwaite Lake – reviving an age-old tradition and creating a much needed boost to the local economy.
“The water is ideal, flowing from a source at Sprinkling Tarn – one of the most beautiful tarns, or lakes, in Cumbria – through the foothills of Scafell Pike which are rich in peat and will give the whisky its unique flavor and depth,” explains Paul Currie. “Combine that with the purity of the air and you have the perfect raw ingredients for distilling whisky.”
He adds: “The area has a long history of illicit distilling as the fells provided an ideal location for hidden stills and smuggling, but it is more than 100 years since the last whisky was produced here.”
The distillery will be housed in a converted Victorian model farm and aims to produce around 300,000 bottles of single malt whisky per year with the creation of 27 jobs.
The brewing plant will use the industry’s latest technology while the copper stills will be made to a unique design and a range of different casks will be used so the spirit is perfectly matured.
Along with the distillery the site will house a visitor centre with a bar, bistro and shop, each aimed at showcasing the finest, locally-sourced Cumbrian produce, and there will be regular tours of the site for schoolchildren and visitors.
The development of the site, which will be carried out using environmentally friendly and sustainable materials, is scheduled to start this summer with plans to begin brewing the whisky in December.
The company has also launched a Founders’ Club offering whisky enthusiasts the opportunity to be a part of history in the making.
The first 100 casks produced at the distillery will be set aside and exclusively bottled for members, who will also receive a range of additional benefits such as special offers and discounts.
Further investment is being sought to fund future development and anyone interested in investing in the company, or joining the Founders’ Club, can find out more at www.lakesdistillery.com.