The Chatham-based distillery, which first opened for tours last October, took delivery of seventy Bourbon barrels from the United States in February this year. The producer will officially start to barrel the first of its Masthouse Whisky and begin disgorging the first five barrels of its unique English grain spirit, Son of a Gun, from this week. The two new small batch craft spirits will compliment its current spirit range, which includes Dockyard Gin and Vela Vodka.
Copper Rivet is the only spirit maker in Kent, and one of just a few in the UK which owns the process of brewing and distilling spirits from grain to glass on site.
Masthouse Whisky will be made following the strict traditions and regulations laid down for Scotch whisky, which requires the spirit to be brewed and distilled on the same site to qualify as a single malt. The whisky will exclusively feature Kentish spring barley grown especially for The Copper Rivet Distillery by farming partners, Burden Bros, in Kent.
Each batch of its Kent spring barley will be malted to head distiller Abhishek Banik’s specification, before being milled, mashed and fermented on site. The wash will then be distilled twice through the distillery’s whisky still called Sandy, before being matured in Bourbon oak casks to produce a multi-layered and well-balanced light and fruity whisky, with an underlying nutty richness, hints of spicy oak, cloves and vanilla bean, and hints of a fruity rose characteristic.
Further down the line the team plan to create a single grain whisky and further expressions of its single malt including a sherry cask-finished whisky.
The team have also rolled out production of Son of a Gun, a clear spirit with a sweet, vanilla whisky flavour. The spirit is distilled from locally grown grains in The Copper Rivet Distillery’s whisky and column stills. It will be lightly barrel aged for flavour, before being charcoal filtered for purity. The spirit is deep and complex in flavour with honey and raisin sweetness, along with malt and vanilla notes.
The first batch will be on sale later this month, while Masthouse Whisky is anticipated for initial release in 2020.
Co-founder Stephen Russell said: “This is an exciting new chapter in The Copper Rivet Distillery’s story. It is rewarding to see our vision for a range of high quality, end to end spirits not only become a reality, but one that consumers and trade customers alike both understand, and are embracing.
“We believe Son of a Gun and Masthouse Whisky will rival even the best Scottish Malts, and perfectly compliment Dockyard Gin and Vela Vodka to complete our luxury spirit line up.”