Amrut and St George's rule the world
Indian distiller Amrut and English distiller Sty George's have been awarded a Grandmaster award in The Spirits Masters, awards organised by my magazine The Spirits Business
The Spirits Masters are highly respected industry awards and the highest award of all is a Grandmaster. Amrut achieved the award for releasing the world's best new world whisky with Fusion and following it up with two other superb offerings, Two Continents (second batch) and Portonova.
St George's received the award for winning three of the seven New World Masters awarded earlier this year, for Chapter 9 and the two versions of the heavily peated Chapter 11.
The awards were made at a special lunch earlier this month at the Cinnamon Kitchen in London. The event was attended by the cream of the spirits industry and from whisky companies including Diageo, Pernod Ricard, Edrington and Morrison Mowmore.
England to the four
Typical - You wait 100 years for a new distillery then four come along at once England is set to get a new whisky distillery in 2012 - and it'll bring the total number of places producing malt spirit in England to four.
Five years after Sy George's Distillery in Norfolk ended an English whisky producing drought after more than 100 years, England now has as many whisky producers as Ireland.
St George's has been bottling whisky for two years and has already established itself as a leader in the new world whisky sector. Earlier this year a partnership between St Austell Brewery and Healey's Cyder Farm in Cornwall produced England's oldest whisky, a very fruity very apply seven year old Cornish single malt bottled at seven years old.
Suffolk brewer Adnams also announced that it was launching a range of its own spirits and was laying down its own malt spirit for a whisky release in a coupe of years' time. And now England is set to get its second distillery proper.
The Lakes Distillery will start producing malt spirit in 2012 at a site in the English Lake District in the North West of the country. The management team behind the new project is Paul Currie, who spearheaded the project to build the Isle of Arran distillery. He says that the procures to producing whisky in Cumbria will now be a quick one.
"We have found the perfect place to make whisky," he says. "It took about a year to find it and then a long time to get planning permission because this region is a National Park and getting permission to do anything here is complicated.
"But the area looks like Scotland, it hard lakes because it gets a lot of rain and therefore has a lot of good quality water, and it has the advantages of tourism. We're also in the good position that the buildings we are going to use already exist and so we don't haver any building work. Now that we have planning permission we can move quickly to install equipment and we should be ready to go by next summer."
Lakes Distillery is a new project and is not linked to the last lake district whisky project - which reached the stage of building a website.
The new management team is offering interested parties the opportune nitty to join a Founder's Club. Members will receive an annual bottling of Lakes Whisky for the first 10 years along with two miniatures which they can open without opening the main bottle. The package also includes a certificate and two special Glencairn glasses. It cost £595, or £495 if purchased before the end of the year.