30 January 2012

Whisky Insiders Interview - Paul Currie

Lakes Distillery

Managing Director


How long have you been working in the whisky industry?
I started in 1995 when I set up Arran Distillers with my father. My new venture is now to set up a distillery in the Lake District, the Lakes Distillery, which will open this year. As well as a single malt, we’ll also be producing gin.

What has been your biggest career highlight to date?
Up until now it has to be the day Arran opened, although I expect this to be surpassed when we start production at our new Lakes Distillery in Cumbria. For me this will be a greater achievement, to start a new distillery in a new whisky region, which has a long heritage of illicit whisky production in the past.

Can you remember your first dram, and indeed what it was?
My father spent his working life in the industry, so I grew up with whisky coursing through my veins. I probably had several tiny sips as a toddler, but the first I can remember was when I was 16 with an Aberlour.

What does whisky mean to you?
Whisky is an extraordinary product, with an uncanny ability to bring a sense of goodwill and good humour to those who enjoy it. It’s wonderful to be involved with something that holds such a fascination to so many people.

Where would you like to see yourself in five years time?
I would hope by then that the Lakes Distillery is becoming well established, and that we are producing a whisky recognised as being of the highest quality.

What was your last dram?
An Arran 14 year old yesterday evening, wonderful!

Do you have a favourite whisky and food pairing combination?
I am very partial to a combination of herrings and whisky, although I think you can drink whisky with almost any food.

What’s your favourite time and place to enjoy a dram?
Any place with good friends, whisky is much better shared! I also look forward later this year to climbing Skiddaw (fourth highest fell in the Lakes, very near our new Lakes Distillery) and to celebrating our opening with a dram at the summit.

What do you think is going to be the next big thing on the whisky horizon?
I think there will continue to be more new ‘artisan’ distilleries opening just as we are doing with the Lakes Distillery. There will also be increasing innovation, particularly to find new ways of attracting younger consumers.

What’s the one dram you couldn’t live without?
Of course it will be the Lakes Malt!

Many thanks to Paul Currie. Who will be the next Whisky Insider? Click back soon to find out!