Our Waterhead Gin of the Month takes us across the Atlantic and tells a story of sustainability at its best. Death’s Door Spirits have reinvigorated the local agricultural heritage as well as creating a superb and highly acclaimed gin.
George, our Wild Boar Inn Master of Malt, has chosen Edradour 10 Year old for his September Malt of the Month. Although officially the smallest traditional farm distillery in Scotland, Edradour has a big history and is an extremely popular destination for visitors from around the world.
A Model Village or a Distillery?
There seem to be two translations of Edradour to choose from, ‘the land between two rivers’ or ‘Edred Dobhar’ meaning the stream of King Edred. Whichever you choose, the distillery is perfectly placed beside a fast paced fresh water supply not far from the central Highlands town of Pitlochry. The site of the distillery itself is quite unique with whitewashed farm buildings and picket fences, more like a model village than a commercial production facility. On your approach, the site offers a feeling of ‘coming home’ in a ‘Little House on the Prairie’ type of way.
Established in 1825 as a local farmers co-operative, the distillery has exchanged hands a fair few times over the years and has included at least one shareholder with dubious credentials. Frank Costello, New York mafia Godfather invested heavily in the distillery in 1938 before handing it on to various international consortiums.
I wonder if the mafia had anything to do with the sinking of a ship off the island of Eriskay in 1941. This was the famous story of 20,000 cases of whisky, including blends from Edradour, that were lost overboard, several finding their way into the hands of the locals ‘entrepreneurs’. Compton McKenzie went on to immortalise this story in ‘Whisky Galore’ and I hope we have all seen the hilarious film of the same title.
Keeping it Traditional
Little has changed in the production process at Edradour since 1825. The distillery is in the original farm buildings and mash tun, washbacks and a pair of stills (the smallest permissible for commercial distilling) all snugly fit into one room. There’s no automation and much of the equipment is made from wood. Incredibly they manage to produce 90,000 litres of whisky annually expressed through no less than 25 different and distinct flavours of single malt including Ballechin, a range of heavily peated malts and a range matured solely in wine casks with a depth of flavour and character emerging from the barley and sweet fruits of the wine.
Whisky Tasting at The Wild Boar
Here at The Wild Boar, we host regular Whisky Tasting Evenings to enable you to learn more about this classic age-old spirit. Take a look at The Wild Boar Events page and join George at our next whisky tasting event.
We have seen some amazing photographs taken from The Midland, but this takes some beating. The story behind the photograph makes it even more poignant.
Midland guest, Chris Peear-Wilson, has been diagnosed with various auto-immune illnesses and a degenerative condition which affects both eyes and has rendered her partially blind. She never has a day free from pain. With the vision she has left she is making every second count. Keen on nature, with a passion for ornithology, flora and fauna, Chris had, until quite recently, made quite a name for herself locally in Denbighshire as an artist who loves to draw birds. Observing them from close quarters, she developed a way of committing their shape and colour to memory, later re-creating the images on paper. Unfortunately, Chris is now no longer able to see well enough to draw.
Indefatigable, Chris has taken up photography and captures nature through the lens whenever possible. She was delighted with this particular shot – the light on Morecambe Bay sands in the shape of a cross echoing her own strong faith. She calls the photograph ‘Divine Sunset’ and commented,
‘Divine Sunset’ was followed by a ‘divine evening’ that only The Midland could deliver. I hope this photograph encourages and inspires others.
We wish Chris every success in the future as she faces the challenges that her illness brings. Thank you for sharing this magnificent image with us.
Room with a View
The Midland with its Sun Terrace restaurant and bedrooms overlooking Morecambe Bay is the perfect place to experience your own divine evening. We look forward to welcoming you.
We’ve hosted hundreds of weddings over the subsequent years, but Sarah and Duncan Roper were our very first wedding couple and we look forward to re-creating their wedding breakfast for them when they visit soon for a mutual Silver Celebration.
Sarah introduces the family and tells us about their ongoing connection with Lancaster House.
I was brought up in Lancaster, my family having moved to the city when I was very young. My father’s job at the University meant we occasionally spent time living abroad. Duncan grew up in Sheffield where even a trip to Barnsley was a major expedition! We now live in Timperley, Cheshire, in the home that we bought just after we got married.
We’ve got two sons, Joe, 21 who is studying Civil and Structural Engineering at Sheffield University, and Sam who is studying for his A levels at Sale Grammar School.
How did you meet?
Both Duncan and I have been involved in healthcare throughout our professional lives. We were introduced to each other whilst Duncan was working in Burnley for the NHS. We went out one Sunday afternoon for a platonic drink in a real ale pub in Manchester. A fight broke out in the pub (nothing to do with us!) and Duncan grabbed my hand and led me safely away from the fracas – from that moment on everything changed!
Was it a romantic proposal?
The first proposal was on a night out in our local Indian Restaurant – where else? Duncan subsequently delivered a much more romantic ‘official’ proposal during a holiday in the Lake District on the banks of Coniston Water – not an onion bhaji in sight!
Why did you choose Lancaster House?
I was brought up in Lancaster and have many happy memories of the area. My father took up a post in the Physics Department at Lancaster University when it first opened in 1964 and he worked there until he retired. As a family we have always had a very strong relationship with the University. The Chaplaincy Centre at the University seemed an obvious choice for our wedding ceremony and with the brand spanking new Lancaster House on the doorstep it was the ideal venue for the reception.
Booking our wedding in a hotel whilst it was still under construction did have its risks. I made sure we had a back-up plan ‘just in case’. I’m very glad we didn’t have to use it!
The Big Day
The wedding day just seemed to fly past so quickly. It was everything I had always dreamed of for my wedding – sunshine, family, friends and a lot of fun – oh, and Duncan as well! Our wedding breakfast menu was Melon , Lamb Noisettes followed by a decadent Chocolate and Raspberry Roulade. Duncan’s request for naan bread and tarka daal was politely declined by the management at the time!
My parents, Jean and Peter, remain loyal members of Lancaster House Sandpiper Club. We visit regularly and have celebrated other special birthdays and anniversaries at Lancaster House. Sadly, Duncan’s Mum and Dad, Jean and John, passed away a few years ago but we have an enduring memory of them both from our special day.
Weddings at Lancaster House
Our Wedding Showcase on 25th August, 4.30pm to 8pm is a perfect time to have a personalised wedding show round of Lancaster House, sample our wedding breakfast options and meet our local wedding suppliers. Our Wedding Coordinator, Lauren, and the team will meet you with a complimentary arrival drink and canapés.
The decor at Lancaster House may have changed over the years and we now offer a much wider choice of menu (I’m sure Chef is happy to talk about tarka daal if that is your heart’s desire!) but one thing remains constant – we aim to help make happy memories for our couples for many years to come.
A popular gin from our Waterhead library, Fifty Pound is a traditional recipe that was long buried after the Gin Craze of the eighteenth century. We think it’s time to dust it off and enjoy in Waterhead’s garden overlooking Lake Windermere.
Deviating from our normal Malt of the Month post, our Master of Malt, George, tells us about his trip up north to his homeland to visit two distilleries and see first hand how the amber liquid is produced.