Monday, 31 July 2017

Newer Distilleries 1 : Wolfburn

This is the first in an occasional series about newer distilleries - mainly because I wanted to find out a little more about them and I thought if I wrote a blog entry - you could too!

The first entry is about the Wolfburn Distillery


Wolfburn Distillery is located in Thurso in the far North east of Scotland, it's the most Northerly mainland distillery.


Although there was a Wolfburn Distillery on the site in the 19th century, there is little trace of it or its whiskies still around. The present distillery was started in August 2012 with the first new make flowing in January 2013.

The name Wolfburn comes from the nearby Wolf Burn (stream) which supplies the distillery with it's water. Wolves were once a common site in Scotland and the logo comes from a woodcut by Konrad Gesner, a 16th Century zoologist.

Photo :

Photo :
Production process
Wolfburn have a great process diagram on their website explaining how their whisky is created.

Diagram :
Wolfburn have two traditional pot stills of 5,500 litres (Wash) and 3,800 litres (Spirit) with a weekly output of c 3,500 litres. There is no automation in the process.

Shane Fraser, the Master Distiller, decribes the new make as "Sweet and malty, like Weetabix with warm milk added" there is also some "Dried apricot but with a slight spice behind it, with a splash of water added it softens the aroma and I get more of a banana smell with a slightly perfumed background.”

The spirit is casked at 63.5% abv and matured in a mixture of 2nd fill American Oak Quarter casks (120 litres), 1st fill American Oak ex Bourbon casks (200 litres) and 1st and 2nd fill Spanish Oak ex Oloroso Sherry casks (500+ litres) and matured in dunnage warehouses on site.

Photo : John O'Groat Journal
Bottling also takes place on site, all of the whisky produced is non-coloured and non-chill filtered.

Photos : @Wolfburn_Whisky
Wolfburn currently bottles the:

Northland - matured in the Quarter Casks this is a fruity malty dram with a hint of peat. Bottled at 46%, priced at round £45-£50 for 700ml

Aurora - matured in the ex Bourbon and Sherry casks with is a sweet sherried nutty dram with a hint of spice. Bottled at 46%, priced at around £45-£50 for 700ml

Small Batch No. 128 (from Warehouse No.1, Stow No. 28) - matured in small 100 litre first-fill ex-bourbon casks, a lightly peated smoky dram with sweet honey. In case you don't know, I didn't, a stow is a row of casks in a dunnage warehouse!

Morven - a lightly peated whisky coming in September 2017. Bottled at 46%, priced at around £45-£50 for 700ml

Specially selected or experimental casks are also bottles as the Kylver Series.

Link to the distillery website

Link to the promo video

The distillery is open 10am - 4,30pm Mon-Fri with tours at 2pm. Weekend and holidays may be different - always a good idea to book in advance!

email :
phone : +44 1847 891 051 (note: the office is not always manned – email is the best way to reach them)
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