Welcome to the first Journal entry from Greg, founder of Dartmoor Whisky Distillery, where we hope to give you an insight into life in a working whisky distillery, and bring you closer to the heart of what we are working on.
August in the Distillery
On 9th August, we will finally begin distillation again (producing two casks per week) after a short break due to Covid. It feels like a long time since the fire was lit and the stills were roaring, so we are thrilled we can finally get back to doing what we love to do the most.
We’ve taken delivery of four new Bourbon casks this week. Some of the casks have come directly from Heaven Hill Distillery in Louisville, so our spirit will sit in the casks of their highly accoladed whiskey.
We have an ex-Islay cask whisky which will be coming of age soon, plus we have an extremely exciting Port cask, plus a Madeira cask also almost ready for bottling. It won’t be too long before our Limited Edition Frank McHardy Distillation will be ready too. If you don’t know already, Frank is our Master Distiller and is in Whisky Magazine Hall of Fame.
August in the Fields
Our farmer, Tim Cox in Drewsteignton on Dartmoor National Park, recently harvested the winter barley. The Marris Otter barley is an ancient variety bred especially for producing high-quality ale. The barley passed the grading with flying colours.
Next will be the spring harvest, which will be happening any day soon. This barley will also go for malting at Warminster Maltings before heading to Dartmoor Brewery to be made into beer wash. We’re hoping to get up there and see the harvest first hand, if we do, we will of course share some footage with you. It is astonishing that we can trace our barley right back to the field and the farmer.
August on Dartmoor
Dartmoor is full of life in August. Not least the influx of tourists that have come to explore its beauty, but with nature too. The grasses are long and humming with butterflies and insects. The heather and gorse are in full bloom now, wafting the sweet scent of coconut as you walk past.
We took a walk up to Saddle Tor with the dogs on a very clear evening last week, the sunset from this tor is incredible and gives you a spectacular view of South East Dartmoor, including Haytor, Hound Tor, Saddle Tor and Widecombe.
August is a great time for wild swimming, so head to the River Dart, strip off and brave the cold, fresh waters. We promise you’ll feel better afterwards.