Subscriber login Close [x]
remember me
You are not logged in.

Proposed charter for English whisky

Published:  11 June, 2018

Copper Rivet Distillery is working on a charter aimed at underpinning quality in the growing English whisky category, initially looking to lead by example while attracting other producers to join the conversation.

The Kent-based distillery, which will produce its first batch of finished whisky in 2020, believes that there is potential to create a strong new category while allowing for greater flexibility and experimentation than is allowed by the legislation controlling production of Scottish whisky.

“English whisky is a very interesting category and has the ability to do something new, and could be a very significant category, but if the quality isn’t there it would be a disaster,” Abhi Banik, head distiller at Copper Rivet Distillery, told Harpers.

“We are not legally bound by the legislation [governing production of] Scottish whisky, and while we have aligned ourselves with aspects of that, we are working on and creating our own charter, taking inspiration from different bodies that are responsible for maintaining quality in their own categories,” he said.

Gin, sherry and Japanese whisky are among those other drinks cited by Banik, with him adding that the latter is a good example of how the quality bar has been set high while still allowing for greater innovation than is permitted in Scotland.

“Somebody has to take the lead, as trying to create consensus by committee is difficult, but we are then looking at coming together with competitors to discuss the category and this is the right moment because everyone can see that English whisky coming up.”

In addition to producing gin and vodka at its Chatham Dockyard distillery, Copper Rivet has released Son of a Gun, a spirit that has seen just eight weeks in barrel, as a taster of what will become a fully-fledged whisky in 2020.

Banik says that he has been looking to create a rounder, more fruit-driven style of whisky, using lower than usual ABV base spirit, which in turn extracts less flavour from the barrel – a stylistic approach apparent in Son of a Gun.