This new whisky is the latest limited edition release from the English single malt whisky brand of Wire Works. The Wire Works Necessary Evil Finish is just the fifth release from the Derbyshire-based White Peak distillery. The whisky has seen the distillery's lightly peated spirit initially matured in ex-bourbon barrels. This has then been finished for a short period in ex-beer casks. These had previously held Necessary Evil imperial stout brewed by the neighbouring Thornbridge Brewery. It is bottled at 51.3% ABV and is both non chill-filtered and of natural colour. There are just 2,059 individually numbered bottles.
The White Peak distillery was founded in 2017 by Max and Claire Vaughn. It is located in the village of Ambleside near Matlock, Derbyshire in the Peak District National Park, a UNESCO World Heritage Site. The distillery is housed within the former Johnson & Nephew copper wire factory on the banks of the River Derwent. They also produce rum and gin, as well as supporting the local community in eco-friendly and sustainability projects. It was Derbyshire's first ever craft distillery.
The Wire Works Necessary Evil Finish is only available via the White Peak website, with a small amount available from the distillery shop. A bottle will cost £65 and is restricted to one per customer. It is expected to sell out quickly. Some are still available at the time of writing.
Our tasting notes
The colour is deep gold and the nose is vibrant and expressive. Initial aromas include green apple, vanilla and golden syrup with a hint of chocolate and hazelnut. Underneath is a whiff of gentle peat smoke and this adds a savoury and earthy quality. There is also a distinct malty cereal aroma that adds further depth.
On the palate this whisky is instantly hot and peppery. This settles a little to allow other notes to evolve. The distinct malty cereal characteristic from the nose rises first and has a biscuit-like quality. This is quickly joined by some milk chocolate and golden syrup. The green apple is less crisp than on the nose and now resembles baked apple with butterscotch sauce drizzled over. The gentle and soft peat smoke lingers in the background and eventually wraps itself around all the other characteristics. There is a late hint of candied orange and rum-soaked dates. A pinch of savoury baking spices round things off well - think of cinnamon, powdered ginger and clove.
The finish is of decent length and sees the smokiness come more to the fore. This becomes a little ashy as time progresses. It is well supported by the biscuity malt cereal note and this drags out the finish, especially once the fruity and sweet notes die away. The warming baking spices also hold well.
What's the verdict?
We always love to sample new whiskies from new distilleries. After the long wait it is great to discover what a distillery is all about and the style of whisky that they are making. This is one of the best new whiskies from a UK craft distillery that we have tried to date. It has depth, complexity and comes in at an accessible price.
This backs up our initial thoughts after we tasted the Wire Works First Release earlier in the year. That showed huge promise and this Necessary Evil Finish does the same. Definitely a distillery to watch out for.