Yorkshire is quite famous for a few things , A rugged , beautiful coastline , Outstanding Scenery , oodles of wildlife and two of our favourite heritage Steam Railways ! Just visit Bempton Cliffs and see two of these , one just happens to be the emblem of what this posting is about ! During the Summer season you’ll find one of the most beautiful Seabirds perched on the staggering Cliff faces , you can’t miss them , there are 37,500 pairs !
Normally when you want to Visit a Distillery and sample a dram or two you normally have to head North from where we live (in the Toon…..) , luckily there is also a very good place not too far South of Newcastle and even more luckily it wasn’t a great distance from where we were taking our Summer Holiday ! On the day of our 25th Wedding Anniversary (30th July 2019) we decided to pay a visit to the only Whisky Distillery in Yorkshire at Hunmanby . We did visit here last year ( See Here ) and had a great time sampling their wares and catching up with an old friend Joe Clark .
Since our last visit their spirit has reached 3yo and their maturing spirit releases have sold out , 005 and 006 being the most recent . We booked on the early afternoon tour and after a Cuppa and another natter with Joe in the excellent on site cafe , we went off for the tour to find we were the only ones on it ! We were guided by Distiller and enthusiastic all round nice guy Dom . Being the driver i went for the Drivers take away samples (though i did have a wee sip of Melanies Drams at the time…..) , So rather than rabbit on about the excellent and informative tour lets just get on with rabbiting on about the drams , None are actually whisky as such , some are rapidly approaching 3yo (in September) but all are 2yo+ , some come from STR casks , STR stands for Shaving , Toasting and Re-charring , It was a process pioneered by the late whisky consultant Dr Jim Swan and it does (imho) a fantastic job in maturing Whisky . Their Spirit runs comes from primarily from pot stills with an added touch of some spirit being run through a column still .
‘Filey Bay’ First Edition
The ‘Spirit of Yorkshire’ Distillery first release of fully matured (i.e. 3yo) Single Malt Whisky , named after the nearby Filey Bay , this is made up of 16 casks laid down in Spring and summer of 2016 , mainly first fill ex-bourbon but with a hint of sherry . Bottled at 46% and UCF / no colouring , it is a Shimmering Ripe Straw colour in the Glass , The nose is extremely fresh and fruity followed by lots of honey and Vanilla , it doesn’t smell 3yo , more like a 10-12yo , the fruitiness is beautiful – Apples , pears , peaches , citrus….. – an extraordinary nose !
On the palate it is silky smooth , though here you can just notice it is a younger spirit , again the honey and fruitiness shines through with a touch of spiciness , it has a lovely mouthfeel , it is a touch oily ( the thick legs in the glass are wonderful even at 46% ) .
The Finish is mid to long with a lovely honeyed spiciness , it is a great first release , i don’t like comparing whiskies to scotches but if you like a good Lowlander you will be over the moon with this , it is an incredibly fresh vibrant Single Malt !
Well done to Joe and the team at ‘Spirit of Yorkshire’ on a cracking first release , already looking forward to the next one !
Cask 101 ‘Old Orange’
As the name suggests , there is something orangey about this ! I think this was from a sherry cask (it was a while ago !) , it is a nice golden-orangey colour , the initial nose is sherry and orange…… there is also a lot of Christmas Cake happening , an extremely fruity christmas cake ! The noses on these cask samples are superb especially given their age , The palate at first is liquid Christmas cake , then the orange kicks in , good god that’s wonderful ! The finish is long and sherried with vanilla , beautiful !
I’ll take a bottle of this please ! Please don’t put it in a vatting , this needs to be a Single Cask release , Please,please,please,please……..
Wow , after a huge glass of water i can still taste this one !
Cask 196 Pedro Ximinez
A gorgeous Amber colour in the glass , Another lovely sherry nose , this one is big on the vanilla , Marzipan as well , dried fruits , yup you know where this is going……. this is big and chewy on the palate , a drier sherry , glides across the mouth , wonderful ! The finish is long again with a wonderful Chrissy Cake Marzipan feel to it with vanilla , oh come all ye faithful , definitely Joyous !!!!
Another that deserves a Single cask release…..
Cask 146 Oloroso
A Lovely amber colour , Mmmmmm…… Sherry ! A Gorgeous , balanced nose , loads of Vanilla and cake dough , The palate carrys on the sherry theme , there’s a touch of Cola Cubes , An absolutely Delightful mouthfeel , the finish is long and smooth , again lots of vanilla and a nice dryness . A cracking dram that is extremely drinkable at Cask Strength , smooth as anything ! This actually reminds me of a well aged Sherried Bunnahabhain which isn’t such a bad Thing !
Cask 882 STR
Another lovely oily dram , lovely legs in the glass , another gorgeous nose , loads of vanilla again , lots of xmas cake . On the paalte there is a lot more fruitiness and citrus , again it glides across the mouth , the finish isn’t too long on this one but there is a ‘Maynards’ fruitiness to it (showing my age here , like the chewy sweets you used to get when they had their own shops…..)
The final sample , a very dark amber this one , i can’t work out what the extra bit of writing is on the sample bottle (sorry Dom !) but i assume it’s another sherry cask…… Another delightful nose , bags of vanilla and marzipan , i have to say their cask selection is outstanding , they’ve all been cracking noses ! Once again the palate is smooth , there is a touch of cola cubes on this one , these must be the easiest drinking young spirits i’ve ever come across , Joe and Dom have done some outstanding work here ! The finish is med-long with lots of vanilla and almond paste , Excellent !
A fantastic First release and superb ‘Work in Progress’ , can’t wait to see what the future holds !