A wee while ago, during one of the Edinburgh Whisky Group's legendary virtual meetups, Jamie Morrison of The Glenturret joined us to talk us through their new releases and I declared, quite proudly, that Glenturret was the last distillery I visited before lockdown in March 2020.
Except it wasn't; it was, in fact, the last Scottish distillery I visited before the pandemic precluded the opportunity to do such things.
The last distillery I visited was, in fact, The Lakes Distillery in February 2020. I was visiting my wee granny in Staffordshire and had planned an overnight stop in the Lake District with the specific intention of visiting this distillery.
During that visit, I was given a sample of the Whiskymaker's Reserve 2 which I've reviewed alongside WMR 1 and WMR 3 in a previous blog post HERE.
This blog post, however, focuses on The Lakes Distillery's blended whisky releases known as The One. As some of you reading this will know, I'm an advocate of blended whisky as much as I am of single malts so I've been looking forward to tasting these various expressions for a while now. And as the kind folk from The Lakes Distillery recently sent me a sample of their latest release (Moscatel Wine Cask Finished), I thought I'd adopt the same approach here and review them all side by side.
So, first up, we have:
This is a blend of The Lakes Distillery's single malt, Scottish single grain and Scottish single malts from the Highlands, Speyside and Islay.
NOSE: this has a petrichor note initially followed by hints of marzipan and red apples. Those apple notes develop into toffee apple notes after a while. There's a hint of Sprite in the background. The nose on this really is quite inviting.
PALATE: this has quite a creamy texture. There are hints of fresh ginger and dark chocolate with perhaps salted caramel note in the background. There are also hints of dates and blackberries together with some toffee apple notes, which I got from the nose, appearing after a while. The sherry cask influence comes through after a while with plenty of dried fruit and raisin notes.This has quite a long finish. There's a slight burn on the tip of the tongue but overall this is a well balanced, well rounded blend.
OVERALL: well, this isn't too shabby at all. Nicely balanced with a wee bit of oomph.
Available on Master of Malt for £41.15: HERE. There's also this option on The Lakes Distillery's site for £39.00 which I'm assuming is the same whisky despite it not mentioning Signature Blend on the label: HERE
This is a blend of The Lakes Distillery's single malt and Scottish malt and grain whiskies finished in first fill tawny and ruby port casks (for a year, I believe).
NOSE: this comes across as young and malty. There are notes of Malted Milk biscuits and I'm wondering if I can detect a very, very slight note of peat. The Malted Milks develop into Jammie Dodgers after a while - which is lucky as they're my two favourite types of biscuit ;-). After a wee while, there are hints of fresh ginger.
PALATE: Once again, there's slight burn on the tip of the tongue. The finish seems a little shorter with this dram. This also has a nice, creamy texture although it's perhaps a little thinner than that of the Signature Blend. There are subtle notes of red berries and fresh stem ginger.
OVERALL: Surprisingly, I don’t think this comes across as complex as the Signature Blend; it also feels a little thinner and a little rougher around the edges.
Available on Master of Malt for £47.95 HERE or on The Lakes Distillery's site for £48 HERE
This is a blend of The Lakes Distillery's single malt and Scottish malt and grain whiskies finished in first fill American oak casks which were seasoned with vino de naranja from Huelva in Spain. Limited to 3840 bottles in the UK according to The Lakes Distillery's site or 2994 if you go with Master of Malt. But hey, what's 846 bottles between friends?
NOSE: very subtle and not really not getting too much at all from this at the start. After a while in the glass, there's a hint of tinned clementines (but I'm fully aware that this might just be the power of suggestion). There are red apple notes together with hints of strawberry laces after a while.
PALATE: this is very light on the palate and the finish is short again with this dram. There is definitely more on the palate than the nose suggests. The flavours tend to drop off quite quickly and then suddenly re-emerge. Kind of strange but in a good way. There are lots of fresh ginger notes with hints of red apple and poached pears. Then, after a wee break, flaked almond and dark chocolate notes make an appearance. Heading in to the finish there's the tiniest hint of strawberry jam.
OVERALL: This is extremely subtle and delicate and is a dram which improves significantly the longer it’s in the glass. That nice, creamy texture is here once again.
Available on Master of Malt for £40.28 HERE or on The Lakes Distillery's site for £48 HERE
This is a blend of The Lakes Distillery's single malt and Scottish malt and grain whiskies finished in first-fill Oloroso and Pedro Ximénez casks.
NOSE: plenty of dark fruit notes initially - blackberries and dates. There are notes of Black Forest gâteau and chocolate orange together with flaked almonds. After a while. there's a very subtle hint of aniseed. This has a really lovely nose!
PALATE: this feels a bit thinner than the nose / appearance suggests. It has a slightly oily texture and makes for lighter drinking than I initially expected. There are all the same notes from the nose: blackberries, dates and hints of aniseed into the finish. The finish is quite short and sort of drops off fairly quickly.
OVERALL: possibly my least favourite of the line up. This is certainly very quoffable but I was hoping for a bit more complexity with this whisky.
Available on Master of Malt for £38.40 HERE or on The Lakes Distillery's site for £48 HERE
This is a blend of The Lakes Distillery's single malt and Scottish malt and grain whiskies from Speyside and Islay, finished in Moscatel wine casks and limited to 4,822 bottles in the UK.
NOSE: plenty of cream soda to start with lashings of vanilla ice cream to follow. After a wee while, there's tablet with hints of shortbread. Finally, the Tunnock’s caramel wafers note arrives. The nose on this is so inviting.
PALATE: this has a nice, creamy texture. First of all, there's a cheesecake biscuit base note followed by plenty of fresh ginger heading in to the finish. This finish is quite long and the tiniest drop of water brings more of the malty character to the fore.
OVERALL: this whisky's nose is stunning and it's a really accessible whisky to drink. Really tasty :-)
The ONE Moscatel Cask Finish is released on 25th Feb 2021 and will retail around the £48 mark. You can pre-order yours HERE
Overall, these are all pretty decent blends. For the money (or, should that be, for my money?) though, the Signature Blend is the winner.
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