Spirit of Yorkshire Distillery
I lived in Yorkshire for five years, after I graduated. It's a wonderful place, full of wonderful people. And, it turns out, whisky.
The team behind Spirit of Yorkshire Distillery have lived in the area for decades. They have been farming at Hunmanby Grange since 1945, growing the best malting barley. This sense of farm to bottle is important. They take great care of their coastal land, and use sustainable farming techniques.
In 2003, they set up the Wold Top Brewery. They use their malted barley and local water to create award-winning beer. Through this, they’ve become very close with their local maltsters at the southern end of Filey Bay. This helps keep their food miles as low as possible.
They began distilling at Spirit of Yorkshire in 2016. To compliment their experience of farming and brewing, they enlisted the help of the late Dr Jim Swan. Dr Jim was instrumental in many of the new, forward-thinking whisky distilleries. When it came to choosing their two pot stills, only the best would do. Spirit of Yorkshire worked with Forsyths, who have made stills since the 19th century. They have a four-plate copper rectifying column. They use this alongside their spirit still for half of the year. Having two distillate styles helps them create their unique distillery style.
There’s no ‘one thing’ that defines Spirit of Yorkshire’s single malt whisky. They believe that it’s the combination of many things, from science to nature. It’s the homegrown barley they use, and the coastal climate. They use fresh water from chalk aquifers beneath the green Yorkshire fields. It's their choice of yeast strains and the fermentation times. It's the speed of distillation, still configuration and cask policy. And, it's coastal climate that makes their whiskies so unique.
The Yorkshire Day 2021 release is a chance for Spirit of Yorkshire to do something different. With this limited edition whisky, they've steered away from their bourbon-led style. Instead, this has a heavy sherry influence.
Filey Bay Yorkshire Day 2021
Yorkshire Day is the 1st of August each year. And, on this day, Spirit of Yorkshire release a special annual whisky. Filey Bay Yorkshire Day 2021. They only released 1,500 limited edition bottles of this small batch English whisky.
This years release is a marriage of some of their oldest and rarest whisky. The cask mix includes Oloroso sherry butts and ex-bourbon casks. Spirit of Yorkshire have a light, fruity house style. The Oloroso sherry casks should add notes of dried fruit and sweet spices. Filey Bay Yorkshire Day 2021 is 55% ABV, natural colour, and non chill filtered.
Whisky Tasting Notes
- Colour: Natural colour. Deep, dark copper. Coats my copita, with legs that cling to the glass and take their time sinking down the sides.
- Nose: Berries - red currents and blackberries. Milk chocolate and raison fudge. Toasted malt loaf, or fruit cake, with a glass of spicy cabernet sauvignon. Oak and vanilla from the cask, together with wood spice.
- Palate: Medium mouthfeel. Rich red fruits, more berries together with raisons and plums. Christmas cake doused in brandy for a kick, and served with a little vanilla cream. Allspice and chilli. Alcohol is well integrated; yes, there is that spice, but at 55% it drinks well.
- Finish: Medium to long finish. Rich stewed fruit and more berries. The spice tingles the lips, and the whisky leaves your mouth pleasantly warm.
Review of this Single Malt
Allow me to paraphrase my introduction. A wonderful whisky, from a wonderful part of the world, made by wonderful folk. Having finished a dram, it feels big and bold. It has a presence. It carries its high strength well, with the alcohol adding a nice spice. I enjoyed all those red fruit and berry notes, which will be those oloroso casks coming through. But the quality of the underlying spirit provides that vital backbone to the whisky. Time for another dram...
If you'd like to try this whisky for yourself, then you can find Filey Bay Yorkshire Day 2021 here. But, don't leave it too late; this release is likely to sell out fast.You can follow their journey on social media: Twitter, Instagram and Facebook.
Thank you to Spirit of Yorkshire for providing a sample for independent review.