First London single malt whisky in 100 years

The first working whisky distillery in London for 100 years is set to open in 2012.

Darren Rook, a former strategic project manager for an online drinks retailer, is behind the venture and after securing 45 investors and his first potential employee, his plans are starting to take shape.

The London Distillery Company will produce the first London single malt whisky in 100 years and will also be the producer of organic London dry gin.

The funding closed at the end of March and the company has found a site in Battersea to start production.

The whisky still will take three to five months to create, but Rook is hopeful of beginning to distill in September or early October.

Initially there will be one still and the distillery is set to concentrate on making the single malt, but it will have capabilities to make other spirits and plans are to make a gin as well.

“Things are moving along well,” he said at the Whisky Lounge event.

“I can’t say too much at the minute. I am here at this event with just an empty table. But people are free to come along and find out about what we are about.

“The main goal is to bring quality whisky making back to the capital and to make it environmentally friendly. It is a bit of distilling history.”

Organic production methods are must for the company. They will use organic malted barley from Wiltshire and the whisky will be natural from the cask.

Focus will not be on yield, it is more about experimenting with the yeast, barley and wood to create the perfect blend. The ageing process will use a mixture of both used and new oak.

In five years Rook wants to create a “standard expression.”

He added, “Our plan is to create a steering committee consisting of professionals from a variety of functional areas to check these initiatives are assessed, implemented and managed in direct alignment with the company’s vision, mission and values.”

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