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A few years ago a group of friends visited Islay to learn all about whisky and asked why no one ever made whisky in Devon. That idea eventually turned into Dartmoor Whisky Distillery. The abundance of high-quality barley, pure spring water, and a coastal climate inspired Devon native Greg Miller back in 2009, who teamed up with Simon Crow to found the distillery, purchasing a 1,400-litre Alembic still Cognac still from 1966 to make its whisky. It’s bulbous, with a very narrow swan neck to create a very high level of reflux.

The Dartmoor Whisky Distillery aims to make sweet, smooth new make, which Frank McCardy of Springbank and Bushmills Distillery fame assists with his 50+ years of experience. All of its barley, 50 tonnes a year, is sourced from Preston Farm, and is malted at the legendary Warminster Maltings, then it goes to Dartmoor Brewery who make a 9% ABV beer wash. Post distillation that 9% ABV beer is a 70% ABV spirit which is reduced with water down to the barrel strength of 63% ABV. That’s pure Dartmoor spring water sourced from a 200-foot deep borehole up on the moor at Holne that’s been filtered over the course of two centuries through peat, granite, and more.

The first releases are expressions matured in bourbon, oloroso sherry, and Bordeaux red wine casks, but there are also some Port and Madeira casks that are being used to finish some ex-bourbon expressions, however, and some new make has been popped into Laphroaig casks.

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