We’re delighted to announce the arrival of The Lakes Distillery’s Whiskymaker’s Reserve No.5!
The Lakes Distillery is enjoying the spotlight following a remarkable win at the World Whisky Awards 2022, where their Whiskymaker’s Reserve No.4 was crowned with the ultimate accolade of World’s Best Single Malt Whisky. With Reserve No.4 now sold out everywhere, and interest in The Lakes Distillery at an all time high, The Lakes Whiskymaker’s Reserve No.5 has some big shoes to fill.
Master Whiskymaker Dhavall Gandhi’s Whiskymaker’s Reserve releases are designed as a continuing exploration and evolution of the distillery’s signature sherry-led house style, with each successive release taking the concept further.
Thankfully, the hard work and meticulous attention to every possible detail of cask maturation that led to Reserve No.4’s stunning triumph at the WWA are all present and correct in Whiskymaker’s Reserve No.5. The cask recipe is very similar too, with maturation taking place in a mix of Pedro Ximenez and Oloroso seasoned sherry casks, plus a small component aged in red wine casks.
The Lakes is a distillery highly committed to sherry maturation, with around 80-90% of their spirit filled to different types of sherry casks, encompassing not only standard Spanish oak butts but also sherry hogsheads made of American and French oak. A large part of The Lakes’ success, however, is down to the extra work that goes on in the distillery’s warehouses, where the art of élevage is practised.
Élevage is proactive involvement in the maturation process and involves continuous work: the spirit in each cask is assessed frequently and after three years of maturation each cask is reracked or relocated if necessary to find an appropriate spot to enhance its character. The development of the whisky in each cask depends on the microclimate in which it is matured; understanding the character of the spirit within enables The Lakes team to decide whether an individual cask needs racked or dunnage warehousing, dry or damp conditions and a high or low location to fulfil its potential.
The process of élevage is very labour intensive, but the results speak for themselves. After the triumph of Whiskymaker’s Reserve No.4, the arrival of The Lakes Whiskymaker’s Reserve No.5 couldn’t have come at a better time - and we can’t wait to try the next stage of The Lakes’ evolution.
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