Whisky Focus - London Whisky Company Goes Into Production

London Whisky Company Goes Into Production

12th December 2013
First spirit flows from the still at London's first whisky company in over 100 years.

The London Distillery Company, a boutique distillery which is based in Battersea London was founded in 2011 by Darren Rook, former London branch manager for the Scotch Malt Whisky Society and Master of Malt Strategic Project Manager and Nick Taylor from award-winning corporate finance house, Envestors.

Since Spring 2013 the boutique distillery has been producing Dodd’s Gin but that all changed today as The London Distillery Company has been granted London’s first licence to produce single malt whisky in over a century and today saw its first British spirit flow from the still making the boutique distillery the first whisky distillery in London since Lea Valley in Stratford which closed in the early 1900s.

The whisky will be distilled in a beautiful 650 litre copper pot still, ‘Matilda’, named after co-founder and CEO Darren Rook’s Scottish Grandmother. Once the plain British spirit, that will be produced during the second distillation, has been matured in casks for a minimum of three years and a day, it will legally become London's first single malt whisky in over 100 years.

Malt whisky is made using three ingredients: malted barley, water and yeast. In keeping with the distillery’s focus on sustainability and sourcing locally where possible, the barley is sourced from Warminster Maltings, Wiltshire, 100 miles from the distillery. The yeast is supplied by Surebrew in Surrey and the company is using historical London brewing strains.

Darren Rook commented, "It is not widely known that the capital has a great heritage of whisky production dating back to before Chaucer. Since meeting co-founder, Nick Taylor, it has taken just over three years of hard work from the early concept to get to where we are today. We are really excited to be part of a new chapter in the city’s distilling legacy.

"This is really only the start of the journey as we have some time until the whisky reaches its optimum. We’re aiming to create an historical style of single malt with a great depth of flavour and floral backbone. That said, thanks to our small size and the equipment, we are not limited to one style. One fermentation will fill one cask, so we are able to experiment and create bespoke whiskies."

Annually the company has capacity to fill up to 100 casks. During the development stages Rook has been working with Master Whisky Distiller and Blender, John C McDougall, and whisky industry consultant and wood specialist, Dr. Jim Swan. The team will continue to work with them both at regular intervals over the coming years.

While the The London Distillery Company whisky won't be available for at least 3 years tours of the distillery are available from £15 per person and include information about both the whisky and gin production processes as well as a tasting of Dodd’s Gin. Please contact: tours@londondistillery.com

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