Bankhall is a distillery based in Blackpool and owned by Halewood Artisnal Spirits, the company behind the Peaky Blinder and Crabbie’s whiskies along with a whole host of gins and rums and stuff, make of that what you will, I’m mentioning it because this is such a low key release I’d be surprised if anyone has heard of it.
Bankhall is a dedicated site producing Triple Pot Stilled spirits along the lines of bourbon, and this is where we all have to be careful, you see on the bottle it says “Artisanal Whiskies” it also says “Bourbon style recipe” and finally on the back it says “grain spirit” which is what this is, it’s a spirit drink, I don’t approve of companies bullshitting customers and the words “grain spirit” on the back of the bottle in small font is not exactly up front, that said, I got a tour around the distillery after turning up unannounced and they don’t try and bullshit you there, and it’s a proper whisky distillery, but then sometimes I think we should all remember that distilleries don’t make whisky, they make spirit which turns into whisky after spending time in a barrel etc etc.
I do though want to steer you away from this for a while, and focus on the product in front of me.
This is decent strength spirit drink made with a corn, rye and malt mash and matured in New American Oak Barrels, and I like this, they could have easily flung this in 1st or 2nd fill bourbon barrels and cheated a bit so that’s a positive, it’s also a three barrel experiment, it’s £30 and they aren’t making a song and dance about it anyway, so even if it proves to be terrible it’s not great loss, oh and they made 548 bottles from the three barrels.
Shall we then dive in to see what we’re getting for our thirty notes?
Nose. The initial nose, neat, is a bit harsh, like a young whisky, a touch of water and some time is needed here, and it benefits the overall experience, after ten minutes in the glass there are some lovely candied orange and caramel notes, a touch of vanilla and some clove and Star Anise.
Palate. Because I left it in the glass there was no nasty taste in the mouth at all, it actually feels like it’s a few years old with that time and touch of water, I’ve certainly had a lot worse, it’s more of the same, caramel and vanilla, baked apples and butterscotch, it’s all very pleasant, no one would mind this, well, some people will object but there’s always some arsehole out there.
So, worth a punt? Well I’m not entirely sure where you can buy this from apart from the shop attached to the distillery, maybe contact them on Facebook and I’ll amend this when they get back to me, if they get back to me, but yes, as a first go it’s decent, I’ve tried a few new whiskies, new makes, spirit drinks and all the rest of it and this holds its own, personally I think in another year or two Bankhall will be producing some really interesting stuff and they’re no more creative in their marketing than anyone else.
As an aside, I love Blackpool, it’s taken a kicking for years and is pretty run down in places but doesn’t get quite the hard time it deserves and this will bring jobs and money to the area and that’s to be applauded and I hope to be supporting them for years to come.