Lakes Distillery: The One British Blended Whisky (English Blended Whisky: 40% ABV)
Visual: Light gold.
Viscosity: Fast medium streaks.
Nose: Vanilla. Honeycomb. Pencil shavings. Oak. Rock dust. Sulphur. Water adds a coal dust air.
Body: Smooth. Vanilla toffee. Apricot. Light. White chocolate. Waters adds caramel and passion fruit, and slight hints of alcohol at the back. More water brings out raspberry yogurt.
Finish: Liquorice. Vanilla toffee. Honey. Shredded wheat. Golden syrup. Solid yogurt chunks.
Conclusion: So, neat this kind of reminds me of Monkey Shoulder – smooth, vanilla toffee – a sweet whisky, though a bit lighter than Monkey Shoulder in mouthfeel I would say. As that it feels a bit like a whisky designed to use for a cocktail – it is far from unpleasant but there doesn’t feel to be any depth to it. Some of the nose hints at aiming for a small smoke character, but it doesn’t seem to really come out. Therefore it feels pretty generic, nice enough, but nothing you can’t get anywhere else.
Just a spoon or so of water does give it an interesting quirk though – first fruitiness comes out, but then a soft sweet raspberry yogurt note that fills out the previously over light centre. This way it is both pleasant and a bit different – finally the soft smoke hidden by the sweetness comes through a bit more as well.
Then I went and ruined everything. I added a few more drops of water and it just dies. I was left with a sub par sweet blend with overly sulphur and oak notes to it. So, a warning, take it easy with water – this has a very thin line between its greatest and weakest points.
So, overall – neat it is a good cocktail whisky I would guess and not much more – with just the right amount of water it is a gentle and pleasant whisky with nice balance of sweet, fruit and yogurt, but is easy to ruin. Ok then, but doesn’t really have a selling point that makes me want to say you should get it.
Background: I am not 100% sure on putting this under England – it is listed as being “British” and made with whisky from around the British Isles. So I am guessing probably at least some Scottish whisky in there. Still, Lakes Distillery is England based, even if they haven’t turned out any whisky themselves yet, so I’ll use that for now. Anyway, this sample was kindly given to me by Independent Spirit for doing notes on, many thanks! Drunk while listening to some Ritualz tunes – mainly CDR, always haunting and yet relaxing.