The Lakes Distillery: The ONE Port Cask Finish

Lakes Port

This was originally a crass, stupid and offensive article which I shouldn’t have written, which I regret bitterly and which I apologised for (far too belatedly) in our review of 2020, published on 31st December of that year.

I have, as promised in that apology, removed the previous content of the article. It had no worth or merit, it didn’t move the conversation forward. It did nothing, in fact, besides bully and insult. I’m deeply sorry, again, to the people it attacked, and whilst I can’t take back what I said I can undertake to do better and not to use my platform on Malt to such juvenile and vicious effect.

I have left the original tasting note for the Lakes Distillery: The ONE Port Cask Finish below. A free sample was provided to Malt (and I also apologise to the Lakes for a. Bringing their whisky into an unrelated diatribe and b. Doing so at their expense.)

The whisky is a blend of The Lakes Distillery’s single malt with malt and grain whiskies from unnamed Scottish distilleries which were subsequently married and finished in Port casks.

Lakes Distillery: The ONE Port Cask Finish – review

Colour: Gold – nudging towards rose gold

On the nose: Sweet and musty. Hay barns, dust covers and barley sugar. There’s an overtness of oak too, in wood chippings form, behing which is a dainty smear of summer berries; raspberries, strawberries. Sweeter glace cherries. Not bad, though not complex.

In the mouth: A slightly cloying sweetness on the palate masks a bitterness of youth and over-dominant wood as well as a somewhat thin texture. But, to be fair, I’m being picky. Those barley sugars are still there, and still nice, and the red fruits are more fulsome than on the nose. An attractive twist of slithery smoke sashays through the whole lot. It’s ok, if a little young, occasionally crude and rough-edged. Some nice moments, just not much depth or excitement. Not much soul.


At the time of publication this was available from The Lakes Distillery and for £47.95 via Master of Malt.

Score: 5/10

There is a commission link within this article.

  1. Craig says:

    So another NAS finished for a short period in something sweet to mask inherent mistakes?

    It must get hard trying to think of something to ramble on about. Would be interesting asking a bran ambassador whether they think these releases harm the brand in some ways?

    1. Adam W. says:

      Hi Craig

      Thanks for reading and taking time to comment.

      I quite liked the sherry-finish they did in 2018. (I’ve reviewed it somewhere on this site) but whilst I completely understand the decision to stand out by doing something different, I’ve not generally been a huge fan of The One range, which I feel also detracts or distracts from the very good single malt.

      However, I’m not responsible for looking after the numbers and I’m certainly not a marketer, so what do I know?

      They seem to be doing well, anyway, and if I try to predict the future I’ll certainly be wrong!

      Thanks again for dropping by

      Adam W.

  2. David Pop_Noir says:

    I’m not one for doing my own tasting notes and doubt I could really ever make a decent job of doing so, (no forthcoming review from me on here then) but I do know what I like and as awful as it probably sounds I kinda prefer a I JUST DRINK THE STUFF attitude.
    Even with my limited knowledge it doesn’t mean “I don’t appreciate or even understand what I have within my glass” a statement I find somewhat pious and insulting from those with snouts in the free sample trough.
    I still know the difference between something that’s been well made and something that isn’t.
    It does mean that I’m definitely not in the everything is awesome clique, they do their thing and I do mine.

    1. Mark says:

      I agree David that we (some folk) seem to be lost in this confusion between critiquing a whisky and being critical of a whisky. I think as perhaps pointed out in my Peerless review yesterday, all we’re ever doing is trying to apply a bit of production knowledge to the tasting process.

    1. Adam W. says:

      Hi Bubbert

      Thanks very much for reading and taking the time to comment. No one’s obliged to read what we post (though everyone is welcome to!) and other excellent websites are available.

      It’s also worth remembering that Malt contributors are a broad collective of opinions and styles. So whilst I’m sorry that my pieces aren’t for you, I hope you won’t tar colleagues with the same brush.

      All the best either way, and thanks again for reading.

      Adam W.

    2. Mark says:

      Hi Bubbert. We don’t often get comments from Sweden, but perhaps something has been lost in translation. Either way, it’s a beautiful winter’s day out there, so perhaps it’s best to step away from the screens, take a lovely walk, delight in the changing of the seasons.

  3. Robin M says:


    what are you up to Adam?
    I have 10 bottles of these I need to auction off! 😉

    Just kidding, although I do have the whiskymakers reserve 1 & 2 which got better reviews..but haven’t opened any of em..

    I did open up the bimber second release.
    That bottle proves that short maturation doesn’t need to stand for aggressive spirit or lack of flavour.
    So although price isn’t exactly cheap, I’m quite fond of my Bimber bottle :).
    Pro tip: drink an Ardbeg Uigedail after the Bimber without cleaning the glass.
    I found the Ardbeg suddenly to be a lot more flavoursome, having more notes of stock, smoked ham and thick pea soup :).
    Might have been the moment in itself, but i found it quite stunning suddenly!

    1. Adam Wells says:

      Hi Robin

      Really like my whiskymakers reserve No.1. haven’t tried No.2 yet.

      Bimber second release is bloomin’ delicious. I’m much intrigued by your Ardbeg experiment … may have to give it a go. I’ve had a bit of the peated Bimber spirit – long way away from any sort of release yet – and I imagine you’ll like that an awful lot.

      Many thanks for reading and taking the time to feed back.

      All the best

      Adam W.

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