Ludlow Single Malt Whisky - The Smallest Whisky Distillery In England
How Did It All Start?
Way back in 1995 Mike Hardingham planted a vineyard east of Ludlow, deep in the Shropshire Hills. In 2008, Mike was at the forefront of craft distilling and set about distilling Brandy from his grapes and cider brandy from his apple orchard.
By 2012, he'd secured a licence to distil Whisky and began developing his super small batch products. In 2018, he met Shaun Ward of Ludlow Gin and friendship was kindled. In 2021, Ludlow Whisky became part of the Wardington's family – two master distillers combining their dreams to make the ultimate dram.
What Makes Ludlow Whisky So Unique?
They call it the glorious trinity: fine ingredients, refined craft and a little patience all combine to create a serious and perfectly balanced single malt.
A Hearty Wort Full Of Barley Flavour
Ludlow Distillery use an interesting combination of the finest English malt, as well as the finest Scottish peated malt; it’s simple, to make the best Single Malt Whisky, you must start with the finest ingredients.
Then you find the best people – they worked with a master brewer, Jimmy Swan, to develop a unique process that enables us to get the fullest flavour and highest conversion of sugar. Made in small batches, a longer fermentation ensures maximum flavour. Spent grains from the brewing of the wort are collected by local farmers and used as animal feed.
A Precisely Controlled Distillation
At the heart of what Ludlow Distillery do is the wood-fired 200l German column still, unique in the British Isles. The four copper plates gently quadruple-distil the spirit, ensuring maximum contact with the developing vapours and that all impurities are removed. Ludlow Whisky are super obsessed with controlling the distillation. Heads and tails are carefully removed by smell and taste – not by numbers. This means they make a more precise Spirit with a much higher ABV than normal; it's super smooth and deliciously sweet, there's absolutely no compromise, the result is a refined spirit bursting with barley flavour. Hot liquid from the condenser and from the previous batches are used to warm the next batch for distillation, thereby reducing our fuel consumption.
A Little Love And A Lot Of Patience
The Spirit is carefully poured into an American single-use, ex-bourbon barrel. It’s here that the spirit adopts its gentle oaky flavour; they don't completely fill the barrel, allowing the spirit to breathe and develop a better flavour.
Ludlow Distillery double cask mature: after some time, the spirit is transferred into a previously used Single Malt Scottish Whisky barrel for finishing, which softens the oaky bourbon notes and allows a little more of a comfortable rest in the final stages of ageing. Only when it’s perfectly ready do they gently water it down with purified water from the Welsh marches, then gently non-chill filter to our hearty house strength of 42%. After such care and attention, they lovingly bottle, wrap and box by hand.
This First Release Ludlow Whisky bottling is medium-bodied with fragrant notes of heather-honey, malt, a subtle hint of butterscotch and creme caramel, balanced with a touch of peatiness. The Ludlow Whisky Distiller's Cut First Release is limited to just 400 numbered bottles.