www.spiritofyorkshire.com. It joins the original Filey Bay release from Autumn 2019 and a series of six preview bottlings under the Maturing Malts Distillery Projects label.
The Spirit of Yorkshire distillery is the brainchild of Tom Mellor and David Thompson. It is located between the towns of Bridlington and Filey and was the first single malt distillery to ever be registered in Yorkshire. Production began in Spring 2016 and the current production sits at just over 100,000 litres per year. All barley is grown on Mellor's nearby farm and then malted by a local firm. The milling, mashing and fermentation take place at the Wold Top Brewery, which is located a couple of miles from the distillery and is also owned by the pair, and therefore operate a true 'field to bottle' regime.
The Filey Bay Moscatel Finish is bottled at 46% ABV, is non chill-filtered and of natural colour. The whisky is retailing for £60/ $74 US per bottle.
Our tasting notes
The colour is golden yellow and the nose offers an interesting mix of that combine sweet, fruity and spicy aromas. First comes brown sugar, honey and maple syrup followed by crisp green apple and hints of over ripe tropical fruits (think of pineapple and peach especially) and candied orange. Underneath is a layer of baking spices including cinnamon and all-spice, plus a pinch of white pepper.
On the palate this whisky has an initial youthful heat and peppery quality, but this quickly softens as the main components of the nose begin to evolve. First to appear are sweet notes of crumbly brown sugar, caramel and honeycomb, along with a hint of butterscotch. The fruity characteristics begin to develop next and these fall in to three categories - green fruit (especially crisp apples, pears and a hint of gooseberry), ripe tropicals (the pineapple and peach again) and dried fruits (think of sultanas, papaya and candied orange peel). Finally the warming spices join with cinnamon and all-spice prominent, along with a tiny hint of clove oil. Background hints of crystalised ginger and cocoa powder add further depth.
The finish is of decent length and this is due to the warming and spicy elements present. The sweetness and the green, dried and tropical fruits fade quickly to leave notes of toasted oak, wood and baking spices to the fore.
What's the verdict?
This is another fine offering from the guys at Spirit of Yorkshire. We were very impressed with the original Filey Bay, which was matured in first-fill American oak ex-bourbon casks, and this feels like an evolution of that. That was memorable for its light, fresh and vibrant nature and this has an extra dimension added by the finishing period in the ex-Moscatel barrels.
It will be very interesting to see what other whiskies may appear in the near future from the distillery and we watch with interest. For now, there are only 6,000 bottles so we suggested ordering yours soon if you are interested.