By: Blonde Two
As you know, we Blondes love passion. Passion gets things done, passion sees visions come to fruition.
You can’t talk to Greg Millar from Dartmoor Whisky without observing his passion for this project, it is oozing from his pores; and I have to say, this is a very exciting project. Compared to Scotland there are very few whisky distilleries in England. There seems to be a bit of a National Park theme; if the Cairngorms, Northumberland and the Lake District are benefiting from more visitors via the single malt, surely it makes sense for Dartmoor to join in. It surely has to be good for the local economy; the barley will be grown in the shadow of Dartmoor, malted at the very traditional Tuckers Maltings in Newton Abbot, brewed in Princetown by Dartmoor Brewery and distilled using water from a Dartmoor bore hole. What could be more Dartmoor?
I am definitely not an expert, but whilst in the Cairngorms last year, I fell in love with the history and tradition that surrounds whisky. I recently went over to chat to Greg about his plans for Dartmoor Whisky and he very kindly gave me a tour of their new head quarters, the Town Hall in Bovey Tracey. Greg and his team are working hard to give the nineteenth century town hall a new lease of life; it is a beautiful and intriguing building and deserves the care that it is currently receiving. Not everybody would agree with me, but I love to see old and new architecture working together. I look forward to visiting again as the project progresses.
To the novice (and probably the expert) eye, the Dartmoor Whisky still is a handsome copper set-up, with one element waiting to be delivered. It has been shipped over from a farm in Cognac (I probably should have known that Cognac is in France) and was commissioned in 1966. The still isn’t yet in its final position, but it has been lovingly restored (more admirable whisky history) it was great to think of all that history under my fingertips when I touched it. As well as a lovely still, Dartmoor Whisky have found a master-distiller, Frank McHardy has a wealth of experience and will oversee the distillation process.
Dartmoor Whisky is a long-term project. The first bottle won’t be available until three years after the first distillation. Imagine how excited you would be after all of that work and all of that waiting. We Blondes wish them very well.
Dartmoor Whisky (www.dartmoorwhiskydistillery.co.uk) is being partly funded by their successful Kickstarter Campaign, have a look at the investment options (starting at five pounds), there are some great photos of the still restoration on the site.