Whisky, whisky everywhere and not a drop to drink…. At least not yet!
Celebrating World Whisky Day on 21st May, we thought this might be a great time to share with you are whisky plans for our Orkney Distillery. Since the creation of Deerness Distillery back in 2015, we have always had our sights on producing a premium whisky using locally grown Orkney grains, malted, distilled and casked on site at our distillery on Orkney.
Why whisky you ask?
Stuart loves the history and mystique of distilling from its inception back in the 2nd millennium BC to the earliest chemical distillations around the 1st century AD by the Greeks and later with whisky into Ireland and Scotland around the year 1494 where the love affair has remained to this day. For a more detailed history check out https://thewhiskyguide.com/the-history-of-whisky/
In 2018 and 2019 we grew some test batch barley crops to understand our ground and grain conditions for use in our future whisky. This has become somewhat of a passion for us at Deerness Distillery, the thought of growing barley on site and as a community with our local orkney farmers in the parish to produce the whisky. A full grain to glass whisky is our dream ❤💭
In 2019 plans were drawn up to expand the distillery to include a whisky still house, cask storage and malting room, as well as a new café, shop and visitors’ area. Then lockdown happened and like many others we put all our plans on hold to see what would happen to our business and tourism in general.
Fast forward to 2021 and we are back on the ‘whisky road’ with the planning application submitted before Christmas that year and approvals were granted in April 2022, with the next stage of construction planned for later this year for the whisky still house, café and fabulous new shop. We’re being truly optimistic as always and hope to complete it all in 2023. It will be fabulous to welcome locals and visitors to our new café and shop.
Like our current copper alembic stills we plan on using traditional copper stills for our whisky. They will be hand made for our whisky, with a 1000L wash still and 800L spirits still (names to be decided! Australia theme of course, just like our others) as well as a new mash tun to create the all-important wort. If you would like to learn more about the whisky production head over to Single Malt Scotch Whisky Production Difford’s Guide – the home of discerning drinkers (diffordsguide.com)
So, what types of whisky are we planning? We will be producing a single malt with different casks planned to give our future customers different premium options. Ex-Bourbon from the US, ex-sherry from Portugal and some other exotic casks. Once filled these will be stored allowing time to age the whisky until their release. There are multiple rules surrounding the definition of ‘Scotch Whisky’, one being that the whisky must be matured for a period of not less than three years. Time has flown since we built the distillery, but that means we’ll probably only have one child left at school – a sobering thought!!
My personal ambition is to create a whisky, especially for ladies, that appeals to our sense of taste and smell and of course, looks fabulous! On that note, I would love if you’re a whisky drinker and if not, why not?
Until next month, take care,