Henstone launches its much-awaited single malt whisky!
Chris and Alexandra Toller and Shane and Alison Parr founded Shropshire’s award-winning Henstone Distillery in 2017. The distillery is based at Stonehouse Brewery, established by Shane and Alison ten years before. So, combining experience of producing beer with plenty of commercial knowledge, the business partners began producing gin in 2018. Ryebeck was their preferred supplier of distillery equipment, sourcing a brand new, German handmade Kothe K1200N 1000L pot still. You can read the full story of Ryebeck’s involvement on these pages.
At the same time, the Henstone team was spreading its spirit wings. They began whisky production using their own wash made at the brewery. However, whisky requires a minimum of three years’ maturation in cask. So in the meantime, they created a Bourbon-style spirit called Old Dog Corn Liquor. You can read about that here too.
The new whisky goes on sale
Henstone’s new make whisky spirit went into ex-Bourbon casks from 10th January 2018. The good news is that the very first batch has now been released! They also filled ex-sherry casks in mid-2018, which are due to mature July/August this year. So more good news to come soon!
In order to mark the occasion, the distillery held two launch events in January. The first was for customers of the 200 bottle pre-sale they did back in 2017. They had such an amazing response, that bottles from cask one sold out within 16 hours! The second cask has now been bottled and you can purchase the whisky direct from the distillery’s online shop. The price per bottle is £54.95. including free P&P for all online orders over £50.00.
The new whisky has already been described as light, fruity, smooth and creamy. It’s at the beginning of its journey and will develop more complexity with further ageing.
Effects of COVID
Cask sales have plummeted more than 70% from the brewery, as a result of the coronavirus pandemic. However, for the distillery it’s been a remarkable 12 months, as the reputation of its spirits continues to grow. During the first lockdown in March last year, Henstone started producing hand sanitiser for local hospitals. They are still doing this, but selling mainly to private customers. In May, they decided to put an online shop on their website, which has been a huge success. Henstone has sold its products all over country, including as far afield as the Orkneys! They also began contract distilling for other companies.
Future whisky plans
Henstone’s portfolio of spirits now comprises three gins, charcoal filtered vodka, Nonpareil (apple brandy), Old Dog Corn Liquor (their bourbon equivalent) and whisky.
Future whisky releases from Henstone are eagerly awaited, adding more products to their innovative portfolio! As the English whisky movement gathers momentum, there is plenty to look forward to in this burgeoning sector. “It’s such a new thing“, says Shane, “that there’s plenty of scope in the market.” Henstone is set to play an important part here and, thanks to Ryebeck, they have the best equipment to enable them to succeed.
If you’re looking to purchase high quality distillation equipment, then give the Ryebeck team a call on +44 (0) 800 689 3216 or contact them via their online form.
Author: Robin Goldsmith of The Write Taste.