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Sunday, 05 July 2015

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Tipples downed at distillery launch

More than 100 guests came together to celebrate the Cumbrian launch of the Founders’ Club for The Lakes Distillery – Cumbria’s first whisky distillery for over 100 years.

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Paul Currie is converting the Victorian Low Barkhouse Farm at Setmurthy, near Cockermouth, into a £1.5 million distillery.

The launch event was held in a marquee in the grounds of the Trout Hotel, Cockermouth.

It was hosted by Mr Currie and Gavin D Smith, one of the world’s leading whisky writers, who together presented a tasting of five whiskies from around the globe.

The event marked the start of a schedule of activity for the distillery, which is set to start producing malt whisky and gin next spring.

The Lakes Distillery, next to the River Derwent, will also have a visitor’s centre, due to open next summer, with a bar, bistro and shop.

The club is the first phase of the distillery’s opening and provides a one-off chance to obtain whisky from the inaugural 100 casks of its Lakes Malt. Each year for 10 years from 2015, members will receive a 70cl bottle of the maturing whisky.

The first 100 casks will not be available to the general public and are exclusively for Founders’ Club members.

Mr Currie said: “We created the Founders’ Club as we wanted local people to join us on our journey to becoming a renowned premium whisky producer.

“We have been overwhelmed with the interest we have received and even prior to our launch event on Sunday we had people signing up to be members.”

It is expected that the distillery will produce 100,000 litres of whisky a year plus gin.

It will contain two stills for the production of whisky. They will have a capacity of 3,500 litres and are being built in Scotland.

Mr Currie said there would be a third small still to produce a Lakeland gin using local juniper berries.

Mr Currie co-founded the award-winning Arran Distillery and the production at the Lakes Distillery will be overseen by one of Scotland’s foremost whisky experts, Alan Rutherford, former production director at Diageo.

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