SINGLE MALT SPIRIT
An expedition into uncharted malt territory; showing you don't need to put malt in wood for years to make it taste good. All the flavour complexity of an aged whisky, but smooth on the palate: a spirit in its own class. We distil local barley wort five times, to gradually concentrate the flavours. Honey and citrus notes on the nose; rich, roasted malt on the palate, with a hint of sweet tobacco; honey caramel on the finish. Matured in English oak barrels.
Putting the 'malt' back into single malt.
WHAT MAKES THIS MALT SPIRIT SO SPECIAL?
Malt as you’ve never tasted it before. Each batch of our Single Malt Spirit is an expedition into uncharted flavour territory: similar to a whisky, and at the same time quite different. We set out to show off the gorgeous flavours that come from distilling malt in an entirely new way: our goal is to demonstrate that you don’t need to rely on putting distilled malt in a barrel for three or more years to make it taste divine.
Simply put, we believe this is twenty years ahead of its times, and essential tasting for any whisky connoisseur.
When it comes to distilling malt, Dr John’s philosophy is simple: “Leave scotch to the Scots”. There’s over 300 years of whisky distilling experience in Scotland: and naturally some very good whisky too. So, rather than spending time playing catch up and making an English copy of something done very well in Scotland, Dr John set out to take a different approach to capturing the sublime flavours of malted barley, which we have collectively been enjoying for several thousand years in the form of beer. And so our Single Malt Spirit was born: an adventure into distilling fermented malted barley, with the goal of celebrating these much loved flavours.
Each batch is a new expedition: our most recent batch is Expedition Number 7. The bottle features a quote from Ernest Shacketon: “Never the lowered banner, never the last endeavour”. We think this captures the adventurous quality of this spirit quite nicely.
"The thing about beer making is that incredible care and attention to detail goes into it. England in particular makes an incredible array of truly superb beers. If we have that base then we really should be making the very best malt spirit in the world. So off we went."
- Dr John Walters,
'The Drinker's Guide to Distilling, Part 1'
100% malted barley wort. Made to order for us by a local brewery that we have partnered with We experiment with different varieties of malt in each batch.
"When it came to distilling fermented malted barley, I went right back to the drawing board with the sole aim of producing something exquisite that really did not need putting in a barrel to smooth out issues. If it was to be put into a barrel it was to grab a few emotional cues that people love, and a tip of the hat to all those good guys that have been making superb whisky for a long time."
- Dr John Walters
HOW IS IT MADE?
We start by fermenting our barley wort to our desired strength; and then we distil in our copper alembic pot stills. To make whisky, the malted barley wort is usually distilled in stills between 1,000 and 1,0000 litres in capacity. However, our small batch approach of 200 litres comes in handy when giving us the control we need to grab the flavours we want from the malt.
To achieve our goal of concentrating the malt flavours, we distil not once, or twice, but five times. Whisky is usually distilled once, twice or occasionally three times, depending where it hails from. This also allows us to trim away the heads and tails of the spirit that usually provide the burn along with the flavour in whisky. An extremely uncompromising process that takes a lot of time, requires a lot of skill, and sees a lot of liquid being discarded. However, the resulting spirit, rammed full of gorgeous malt flavour, is worth it all.
The spirit is then aged in English oak barrels: previous batches have been rested for anywhere between six and fifteen months.The time in the barrel emphasises certain flavour notes, but the malt is the star of the show here: we want to show off the quality of the spirit and the flavours of our malt. This is the other key way in which our Single Malt spirit diverges from traditional whisky. We work hard on our spirit to prove that with sufficient skill and inclination, you don’t need to rely on wood to contribute the lion’s share of flavour or quality to your lovely malt.
Honey and citrus on the nose, along with clean, fresh malt notes. Layers of rich roasted malt on the palate, with a subtle caramel sweetness and light tobacco. A long, lingering honey caramel on the finish.
A defining characteristic is the smoothness of the spirit; while still retaining depth and complexity, shown by the evolving flavours and long finish.
Our Single Malt Spirit is best sipped, neat, at room temperature. You can try adding a drop of water to experiment with loosening the flavours if you like, but we think the neat sip is the way to go.