As there just happened to be a large group of whisky bloggers, writers and tweeters in London for Whisky Live someone had suggested a wee tour around the London Distillery Company (@LondonWhisky) distillery in Battersea.
Organised for us by the lovely Kirsty Chant (@kirstychant) from Chant Comms a group of around 15 of us arrived on the morning of Friday 21 March 2014 for a look around the distillery and a chat with Darren Rook (@thewhiskyguy) who is the man resposinsible for making everything tick here.
It was a great experience and Darren was very enthusiastic about the spirit he is producing here and rightly so, still in it's infancy and still with a lot of experimentation to get through before Darren finds the right mix of barley and yeast to make the spirit he really wants it's exciting to see someone just so passionate about what they do.
There has been a fair bit of spirit produced with more soon before any of it will go into casks, Darren explained that they want to cask a lot of spirit at the same time to allow them to better see how it matures at consistent rate, there's a lot of science going on here and despite that Darren also takes account of the fact there's a lot that people just can't explain, that there is still a spinkling of magic with whisky that no-one can say why.
Darren and Christina (the gin still)
The highly polished stills Matilda (named after Darrens Grandmother) and Christina (named after Darrens Wife) are his pride and joy, you can visibly see him grin when he talks about them and what they can do.
Christina is mainly used to produce the Dodds Gin that is produced at the distillery although Darren also mentioned that Christina is also licensed to distill spirit for whisky. Matilda, which is the bigger of the two stills, is both a pot and column still and will be used to distill most of the spirit that will become whisky.
They are atill doing many experiments on yeast varieties etc and from nosing some of the different spirits that have flowed thus far there definitely seems to be a lot of promise in what is coming from the London Distillery Company and although the first official whisky releases are some 5/6/7 or more years away (and Darren explains that they will all be single cask releases, not small batch) I'm very much positive that the London Distillery Company will be one to keep a very close eye on in the future.
Many thanks to Kirsty Chant (@kirstychant) once again for organising this tour and to Darren Rook (@thewhiskyguy for taking the time out to walk us around what really feels like his place.