London produces first whisky in 100 years

13th December, 2013 by Becky Paskin

The London Distillery Company (TLDC) has become the first distillery to produce single malt whisky in the British capital in over 100 years.

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LDC founder Darren Rook pours off London’s first whisky produced in over 100 years

The Battersea-based distillery, which has been producing Dodd’s Gin since early 2013, has now been granted London’s first license to distil whisky in more than a century.

Using Matilda, a 650-litre copper pot still named after TLDC founder and CEO Darren Rook’s grandmother, the group intends to produce just 100 barrels of single malt whisky annually.

The barley itself is sourced from Warminster Maltings in Wiltshire, just 100 miles from the distillery, as part of TLDC’s focus on sustainability, while the yeast used to ferment the mash is sourced from Surebrew in Surrey.

In the coming months, TLDC also intends to use the still to create rye whisky and rum, from fresh sugar cane shipped over to the distillery.

Rook said: “It is not widely known that the capital has a great heritage of whisky production dating back to before Chaucer. Since meeting co-founder, Nick Taylor, it has taken just over three years of hard work from the early concept to get to where we are today. We are really excited to be part of a new chapter in the city’s distilling legacy.

Rook and Taylor have employed John C McDougall, the whisky industry’s only master blender and distiller with over 50 years experience working in Scotch, as its consultant distiller. The pair are also working with whisky and wood consultant Dr. Jim Swan.

“This is really only the start of the journey as we have some time until the whisky reaches its optimum. We’re aiming to create an historical style of single malt with a great depth of flavour and floral backbone.

“That said, thanks to our small size and the equipment, we are not limited to one style. One fermentation will fill one cask, so we are able to experiment and create bespoke whiskies.”

It’s believed TLDC is the first whisky distillery to have all aspects of its production line under one roof, which as a result caused a delay in a license being granted by HMRC.

TLDC’s first single malt whisky will not be available for sale for at least three years.

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