The Whiskymaker’s Reserve No.1

The Whiskymaker’s Reserve No.1 (60.6%, OB, 5922 Bottles, 2019)


What they say

The Lakes Single Malt Whiskymaker’s Reserve No.1, bottled at cask strength (60.6% ABV) to ensure maximum flavour, is a full-bodied expression, matured principally in finest, meticulously sourced PX and red wine oak casks, comprising American, Spanish and French oak. Non-chill filtered and bottled at natural colour. Each bottle of The Whiskymaker’s Reserve No.1 is individually numbered.

The nose is rich and vibrant with vanilla, chocolate and wood spice, layers of dry fruits, ginger and orange on the palate and a long, warming finish.

The Whiskymaker’s Reserve is an artistic exploration of oak and blending; of flavour evolution and defining a house style. Creating a new whisky requires a framework of sorts, but there has to be room within it to play, to follow gut feeling and instinct. The architecture of each release of Whiskymaker’s Reserve will evolve in keeping with both our increasing sherry cask influence and our sense of adventure.

What I say

The inaugural single malt whisky (i.e. 3 years old) release out of The Lakes Distillery, and the first to truly showcase their intended house style from their new whiskymaker Dhavall Gandhi. Dhavall brings plenty of his experience working with sherry casks from his time at The Macallan distillery in Speyside.

This post was sponsored by The Lakes Distillery by provision of a sample of this product.

My tasting notes:

  • Appearance: Light amber gold (9/20), fine tears and medium-fine legs.
  • Nose: Spiced, a little prickly and almost herbal in places, dried fruits, raisin, red berry and red apples are joined by cinnamon, chocolate and honey.
  • Taste: Polished wood, orange peel both fresh and a little candied with ginger and dark chocolate, vanilla, caramel, creme brulee, polished highland toffee.
  • Finish: Long, warming spiced toffee and tannic red apple skin


I found this a little hot and spirity at cask strength (as presented 60.6% ABV) but this expression takes water well and reveals a robust malty body. Some great flavours developing here but perhaps a little too woody and tannic with associated spice for me, hopefully this will calm with age and so the Lakes single malt is definitely one to watch out for in the future.

Score 83/100

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Categories: Lakes

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