Wolfburn Single Malt Captures The Spirit Of The Sea Wolf

It's always exciting when a lost distillery is bought back from the dead and I know a fair few people have been waiting to try the first offering from the new
Wolfburn Distillery situated near Thurso in Caithness.  The original distillery was founded by William Smith in 1821 and soon grew to be one of the largest distilleries in Scotland. It takes its name from the stream that provides the water for distillation, the Wolf Burn (Burn meaning stream in the Scottish tongue). The same water is also being used by the modern iteration of the distillery, which begun production early in 2013. The original Wolfburn distillery closed in 1837 after the family gave up the lease but reopened again in 1852 but was only officially run for one year although some reports claim whisky was still being made there until the 1860's. When work started to rebuild the distillery in 2011, there was only stone ruins left to mark the site where the distillery once stood. The new Wolfburn was built only some 300 meters from the original site and the old foundations are still visible from the new distillery. Wolfburn is the first distillery in Thurso for over 160 years and is the most northerly distillery on the British mainland. There is a reverence for the old ways with craftsmen using traditional methods to produce fine spirit, which is laid down in best quality oak casks to await the day when it is bottled as whisky. They use a 1 ton mash to draw off clear worts before indulging in a long fermentation process and a slow distillation. This helps give the neutral spirit a smooth, warming character before aging has even occurred. There's also an interesting tale regarding the distillery's motif as it is taken from the work of Konrad Gesner, a 16th century linguist and zoologist who produced a tome entitled "The History of Four Footed Beasts and Serpents". Back in those days it was quite common to sight wolves in northern Scotland and the coastal area were purported to be the roaming grounds of a supernatural relative; the sea-wolf. According to legend, the sea-wolf did live on both land and sea and Genser's woodcut depicts the creature walking on water. It was widely believed at the time that those who saw the wolf would be granted good luck.

Wolfburn Single Malt Scotch Whisky

You can tell this is a coastal whisky as soon as you nose the dram with immediate notes of salt and the sea balanced with fresh citrus and the early development of vanilla from the Oak. The palate is complex for a whisky of this age and again the coastal character comes through with fruit notes featuring prominently as well. Also hints of caramel. The finish is short but pleasant, with a warming fade that will have you reaching for the glass once more. Wolfburn is an incredibly complex dram considering it has only spent 3 years in Oak, the minimum time required by law before it can be called Scotch. This is certainly worth drinking now and it's with great excitement that we look to the future to see what else this distillery will offer us. You can pick up a bottle of Wolfburn Single Malt here.