Reviewed by Colin Hewitt
When I think of Yorkshire, I think of Wensleydale cheese, The Rhubarb Triangle, Pontefract cakes, Geoffrey Boycott, Michael Parkinson, and Yorkshire Puddings. What doesn’t spring to mind is whisky, but that’s changed after receiving a lovely tasting pack from The Spirit of Yorkshire Distillery.
With a background in farming since 1945 and brewing from 2003 (The Wold Top Brewery), starting to produce whisky in 2016 has been a natural, organic progression. The distillery is based in Hunmanby, Filey.
You only need to explore the ‘About Us’ notes on their website to see the magnitude of environmental awareness this company displays. Everything is sourced as locally as possible. For example, all the barley used in their whisky production is grown on their own farm (also located in Hunmamby), and sustainability is obviously at the forefront of their thinking.
I enjoy distillery, brewery and vineyard tours. I’ve been to quite a few over the years, so it’s nice to see that the Spirit of Yorkshire Distillery tours are now running again. However, visiting in person is not practical for everyone; that’s why The Filey Bay Tasting Experience is such a great gift idea.
The beautifully designed and sturdy gift box (the size of a large paperback book) has a ‘From Field To Bottle’ production guide and a handy How-To guide to tasting, printed on the inside of the lid. The set comprises of 3 x 5cl bottles of Filey Bay Whisky, one each of the following:-
Filey Bay Flagship – matured in bourbon barrels and showcases the character of The Spirit of Yorkshire Distillery.
Filey Bay Moscatel Finish – Matured for three years in Bourbon casks and then finished in Moscatel sherry barrels.
Filey Bay STR Finish – Matured in Bourbon casks and the finished in Shaved, Toasted and Re-Charged (hence STR) Red Wine Casks from Spain.
In addition, each whisky has its own concise business card style tasting notes.
After tasting all three, I’m very hard pushed to say which was my favourite, but If I was forced to choose, it would be the Moscatel finish (which I found unique), but the Flagship came a very close second.
To paraphrase the Spirit of Yorkshire, they don’t want to simply replicate a Scotch – they want to create something unique, which after sampling three whiskies from their range, I think they’ve achieved.
Sometimes it’s nice to give a gift, just because you can, don’t necessarily wait for a special occasion, and this set is not only ideal for a whisky connoisseur, enabling them to sample the range before investing in a full-size bottle, but it’s an excellent idea for an on-line get-together. So why not purchase a few packs and organise a Zoom tasting session?
For other gift ideas, check out the store on their excellent website. Not only can you purchase their full range of whiskies, but, among many other items, there’s a Spirit of Yorkshire Cream Liqueur, Whisky Glasses, and a range of branded clothing.
If my travels take me anywhere close to Hunmanby and Filey Bay, I will go out of my way to try and visit this distillery; in the meantime, this tasting experience has been a magnificent alternative.
Rating: 5 out of 5
This product can be purchased from The Spirit of Yorkshire here.