Next up in our Distillery Focus series, Matthew Hamilton and Ben Mordue take us through the latest news from Elsham Wold Distillery in Lincolnshire.
What does English whisky mean to you?
Matthew: English whisky presents a really exciting opportunity for us to showcase even more of our personality and creativity in the spirits we are producing. Thanks to the work of some of the other EWG members, the English whisky category has already created a premium niche for itself which aligns fantastically with our commitment to quality, endeavours to always champion local where possible, and our overall ethos here at The Elsham Wold Distillery.
What makes your whisky (and distillery) unique within the English whisky sphere?
Ben: We use a Yorkshire Malt which is brewed on site at our distillery in the old East Riding of Yorkshire. It sits on a World II air base, where we will be one of the first distilleries to produce a premium whisky within our county with a selection of different cask types in our first small batch releases.
What is the achievement that you are most proud of?
Matthew: We launched our flagship potato vodka, Edwards 1902, in March 2020 immediately prior to the announcement of the first lockdown. To think about everything that we, and the industry as a whole has been through, then just to be here 3 years down the line is an amazing achievement. Even more exciting is that we are getting ready to launch our first English whisky and start our journey in this fantastic category.
What do you think will be the biggest challenge for English whisky in 2023?
Ben: English whisky as a category needs to build a reputation in order to compete with the Scottish whisky industry. The key will be to create a brand that will be the base for future generations to come. This can only be done by producing and marketing products in a way that protects us from others outside of our country, so giving a unique but wide range of products that don’t just stick to the norm will be crucial.
Longer term – how do you assess the future for English whisky?
Matthew: The future of English whisky is very bright and if the category manages to maintain its current premium positioning then the sky really is the limit. Innovation is the key to progress and it’s the one thing the English whisky scene certainly isn’t short of!