The Art of Élevage

News  •  05.06.19

The Art of Élevage

On National Cognac Day, we are honouring the concept of élevage – an active involvement during maturation – to open up more flavour possibilities.

At The Lakes Distillery, we respect the conventions of whisky’s heritage and what we can learn from the experience of centuries, but we are also open to a world of other influences and will interpret what we think is right to make The Lakes Single Malt one of the best whiskies in the world.

From Cognac, our whiskymaker has been inspired by the way they slowly reduce the strength of their new spirit to mellow it out before filling it into the cask, as well as reducing it slowly in cask before bottling.

Like Cognac’s cellarmasters, rather than sealing a cask and simply waiting to blend the result, Dhavall regularly samples our maturing spirit and when necessary transfers it into different types of casks depending upon what flavour he wants it to acquire.

Our whiskymaker knows each cask intimately; how the flavours are evolving and how they can be blended with others to complement, enhance, deepen, broaden or contrast.

There will be things, we hope, which we do here that will benefit the world of whisky. Only by understanding how flavours are created throughout the journey through the distillery will the whiskymaker fully comprehend the possibilities. That is why at The Lakes, unusually, our whiskymaker is actively involved at every stage. It is holistic whisky-making.