It’s not exactly your obvious conclusion when you get a scientist and an Architect together but in the case of Abbie and Chris it’s the perfect result..
A dream made reality is the result of a couple looking to change their lives and forge a lifestyle that suits them both as well as keeping that infectious smile they both seem to have every time I see them. A trip to Australia a few years back set them on a journey that changed their lives forever.. Both Abbie and Chris knew they wanted to do something they would be passionate about and after a visit to the distilleries in Tasmania they knew that a future was already being mapped out for them.. Inspiration came in the form of Bill Lark ( said to be the Godfather of Tasmanian whisky ) and after a 4 year period of ups and downs, testing times and new trades learned the Distillery is almost ready to produce whisky Tasmanian style with a twist of English love and dedication thrown in for extra flavour.
Talking with Abbie and Chris is a real pleasure and just makes you feel like this is one project that has to work as I really don’t believe they know what failure means ! Family, community and friends are the backbone to this business and although you know deep down the products will go global they want the local approval with bars, shops and restaurants seemingly very important to them both, which is a real credit to them to remember their heritage.
As with most small craft style distilleries they will make whisky but Gin will be the way to bring in some well needed revenue in the short term, and when you listen to the plans you know they are really looking to push the boundaries with flavours and techniques.. Barley strains have been investigated and it seems that Marris Otter ( a cross between Spring and winter barley strains ) will be the one used for production. Yeast strains will be examined to find the perfect match for what will be a Tasmanian style whisky produced in their own special way, the finished product is intended to be a full bodied style whisky with full on flavours. Initial thoughts seem to be the possibility of a house style whisky but a small batch or single cask release being the main stream intention.
The 900 litre still, made in Tasmania to the same specs as the ones they had seen in operation was ready to be installed ( and named !! ) and proudly sits awaiting the first spirit to flow through..
Casks are also awaiting to be filled and have been re sized by the local White Rose Cooperage to 100 litre in size. The first two casks to be filled with whisky are a sherry and Port cask both hailing from Tasmania and both showing some real colour penetration into the wood by the previous occupants. The most interesting thing is, as an English distillery they will not be resigned to only using traditional cask styles and some real interesting expressions could be produced in the future.
Don’t ask …
Chris, all ready to serve some Gin..
Abbie and Chris with Adrian from Claxton’s and a little Distillery warming gift..
The technical corner..
Special thanks go out to Abbie and Chris for the hospitality and for a great chat.. Good luck for the future and I’m slready looking forward to re visiting once the spirit is ready to flow..
For more information on CooperKing Distillery check out the link below.. http://www.cooperkingdistillery.co.uk