White Peak Wire Works Virgin Oak Finish English Single Malt Whisky 51.7% 70cl
The White Peak Distillery is based in Ambergate, Derbyshire, 12 miles North of Derby city centre. It was founded by Max and Claire Vaughan in 2016, following a dream for years of producing a single malt whisky in Derbyshire, despite no previous experience in the drinks industry. The distillery is sited in a 24km stretch of the Derwent Valley that was awarded UNESCO World Heritage status in 2001, within the old Maintenance and Store Sheds of the Johnson & Nephew wire works that date back to 1876 and lasted for 120 years, which itself was rebuilt from a family owned iron forge from the early 1800s. The motto for the distillery is taken from that of the wire works – Virtus Patienta Veritus, the virtue of patience and truth.
Initial releases from White Peak include a range of gins and a Cask Aged Rum, with their first Single Malt Whisky release initially scheduled for launch in November of 2021. However, supply issues with the distinctive bottle that pays homage to the wire and cable produced by the old factory meant the first release was delayed to February 2022.
The team employ a long fermentation and use two copper pot stills of 3,000 and 2,100 litres in volume. Water is sourced from the River Derwent immediately adjacent to the distillery, utilising some of the old pumping infrastructure for their condenser cooling system. English barley is used, and when I visited a couple of days before the launch of their First Release the team had begun a run of spirit that was using barley taken purely from Derbyshire.
The 8th official release from the distillery sees lightly peated spirit initially matured in ex-Bourbon barrels before being diluted slightly and finished in virgin American oak casks that had been prepared with a variety of toasts and chars. Only 3061 bottles have been released at an ABV of 51.7% and feature a noticeable upturn in the smoky element compared to other releases, mainly due to the softer and sweeter influence of the cask types used.
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