Lakes Distillery Whiskymaker’s Editions: Colheita

Distillery: Lakes Distillery
Bottled: 2020
Age: NAS
ABV: 52%
Bottles: 5400
Cask: Ex-bourbon & Colheita Port Casks
More Info: WhiskyBase

Ooh hello, a new release from our friends at Bassenthwaite – it’s a port cask matured whisky from the Lakes Distillery.

Notes from the distillery team:

A diversion from their sherry-led house style, The Whiskymaker’s Editions Colheita is the first in a series of special-edition single malt whiskies from The Lakes Distillery which showcase whiskymaker Dhavall Gandhi’s sense of adventure in maturation and blending.

In Portuguese, Colheita means “harvest” and in this case, is a supreme and exceptionally rare expression of aged Tawny Port made exclusively of grapes from a single vintage.

I do enjoy a good port cask finish! You tend to get a lovely range of tasty red fruit flavours. The balance can be a little tricky to get right as port pipes can impart a very spicy character to a whisky.

Let’s see how it goes down!

Nose: Foam strawberries, marshmallows, clean laundry, pickles, and cracked black pepper.

Palate: Kirsch, summer fruits & cream, baking spices, and cinnamon. Quite robust!

Finish: Peppery and long with creamy oak and a touch of red fruit.

Oof! Spicy!

As I feared, the port cask dominates the palate and the tannins from the wood rather obscure the underlying character of the spirit. The result, in my opinion, is a whisky that’s a little too bitter and lacking in dimension.

Port cask finishes need a robust spirit to stand up to them, and I reckon the Lakes Distillery distillate is a little too gentle to have a fighting chance. Perhaps a second fill cask or shorter finishing period next time?

Overall, I’d rate this a 6/10.

I have to say though, I really love the nose on this with those sweet-shop aromas of foamy sweets and fair play to Dhavall for experimenting with the spirit and seeing what it can do in interesting casks.

I’m very keen to see what’s next in this series of Whiskymaker’s Editions. Maybe a Madeira finish? Or a Sauternes?? 😁🙏

You can pick up a bottle of this from today for £65 directly from

Steel Bonnets

Bottled by: Lakes Distillery
Bottled: 2018
ABV: 46.6%
More Info: WhiskyBase

Here’s a first! A blend of Scottish and English malt whiskies!

The Lakes Distillery have released this bottling in honour of the “Steel Bonnets”, the much-feared border reivers who raided settlements around the Scottish borders between the 13th and 17th centuries.

They did not see themselves as English or Scottish and developed a certain independence of spirit whose people were loyal to kin, not kingdom.

Check out the short film:

Sounds intriguing! Let’s get it in the glass…

Nose: Golden syrup, sourdough, roasted sweetcorn. Slightly coastal with sea shells and salt.

Palate: Salty toffee, vanilla cream, and barley sugar. Some bakings spices mingling with a soft note of wood smoke.

Finish: Cloves and oaky pepper.

A well-rounded blend that balances sweetness with smoky spices. This is very pleasant stuff to be enjoyed in the safety of your keep beyond the reach of any passing marauders.

There’s a load more information and bottles available for £65 here on the Lakes Distillery site.

Lakes Distillery Cask Sample

Screen Shot 2016-06-09 at 09.53.24Distillery: Lakes Distillery
Age: 1 year
ABV: 63.4%
Cask: First-Fill Bourbon (Heaven Hill)
Cask Number: 2015/#23

Now this is a proper treat – a preview taster of the Lakes Distillery’s malt spirit after a year or so in the barrel!

Founded by Paul Currie (who also co-founded the Isle of Arran distillery) the Lakes Distillery at Bassenthwaite first ran spirit off their stills in late 2014 to much local fanfare.

Let’s see how it’s coming on…

Colour: White wine

Nose: Delicate and floral with apple blossom and sweet hay. Soft, creamy egg custard and sliced banana. A whiff of salty lime skin. With water it opens up with: poached pear, choux pastry, hazelnuts and sultanas. After some time, mineral rich white wine akin to Chablis.

Palate: Perfectly drinkable at cask strength. Very creamy with old fashioned barley sugar boiled sweets. With water, apple and pear flesh – very clean and light – then a rising menthol spice with bitter grapefruit.

Finish: Creamy oak, more hazelnuts, and a touch of white chocolate.

This is a really fabulous spirit. It has a lot of unsherried Speyside character to it: floral, clean, and creamy. At only a year old, this bodes very well for older expressions.

If you’re planning a holiday to the lakes (or just fancy a detour from the monotony of the M6) then it’s well worth a visit.

Thanks very much to John Drake for the sample.