Check out our Founder and MD Paul Currie’s recent interview with ‘Drinks Fun’ magazine, the leading whisky magazine in Taiwan…
The Passion of the Lake District
The Founder of The Lakes Distillery – Paul Currie
Since it was officially opened in 2014, The Lakes Distillery has become one of the top 10 visitor attraction distilleries in the UK in only two years, welcoming more than 100,000 visitors a year. The distillery is located at one of the most famous holiday destinations – The Lake District National Park, surrounded by rivers, hills and fresh air. In 2016, the distillery was awarded a Distillery Masters Award in the category “Best Distillery Facilities”. The Lakes Distillery is a wonderful and dreamed distillation location for whisky. Paul Currie, who is dressed in a simple cotton shirt and English style gentlemen suit with a nice smile, is the Founder of The Lakes Distillery. He has visited Taiwan many times in past years. Paul considers Taiwan as the most important international market, and this time he also bought their new collection to share their world class spirit from the beautiful Lakes with spirits fans in Taiwan.
The launch of new products: innovation without limitation
The Lakes Distillery was rebuilt from an 1850s Victorian farm house. The first-generation spirits, The ONE blended whisky, The Lakes Gin and The Lakes Vodka, have gained IWSC and ISC awards. Paul believed that was a good beginning and also a motivation for their team.
Paul said the spirits culture in Taiwan is quite mature, and consumers are keen for some innovations and special products. The three new whisky finishes are: Tawny Port cask, Oloroso sherry cask, and Pedro Ximinez sherry cask (coming soon in 2017), which are are sweet, rich, and smooth; their sweet flavour being preferable to Taiwanese consumers. The released whiskies are popular in the UK and have sold many bottles since their launch. As only 3000 bottles of each were released, there was often a short supply in the UK. Paul said, “But we will always save the best products for Taiwanese consumers.”
Unlike Scotch whisky, which has many regulations and restrictions, English whisky distillers are able to make their imagination and innovation into reality by the creative use of casks. “We would also like to try maple cask or birch casks in the future; these have never been used before in the UK,” Paul said. They are also planning to launch a special cask finish for Taiwanese consumers only, which has shown their ambition and attention to the Taiwanese market.
Quality not quantity: The leader of English distilling
The Lakes Distillery is expecting to launch its single malt whisky, The Lakes Malt, in 2018. The malt will have a light and smooth peaty flavour, and will be aged 3 years at the point of launching. The malt was tasted at the age of 2 years, and the flavour was similar to whisky that has been matured for more than 10 years! Paul emphasised that Taiwan will be definitely on the list of international market that the malt will be sold first to.
At the end of the interview, we questioned how a new distillery can win the battle against fierce competition. Paul emphasized that there is nothing more important than quality, “the beautiful surroundings gave us a geographical advantage, helped us to build our brand. But the critical value of our business is always to enhance the quality to the best.” He also said, “Our goal is to make spirits that everyone enjoys, and become a leading brand to spirits fans.”