Copper Rivet sets down charter for whisky making

Kent-based Copper Rivet Distillery has launched a charter that lays down clear standards for how it makes its Masthouse whisky, which is due for release in 2020.

The producer hopes the move will generate a discussion with other English distilleries on the parameters for how top quality English whisky is made, while the category is still in its infancy.

Co-founder Stephen Russell says the sector needs to address issues including rules on age statements for blends, the use of additives, allowable types of still and standards for the provenance of grain used in production.

Russell said: “These issues and more need discussion with the Wine & Spirit Trade Association and with pioneering distillers like St George’s, Lakes, Cotswold, Hicks & Healey, Adnams and others, who are already marketing finished whiskies.   
“We think that, being a new category, it’s important to allow flexibility for distilleries to innovate and for regions to define a character to their spirit, which may be unique.

“But we believe that we should could come together to thrash out some common, minimum standards which can serve as a form of guarantee to consumers and signals to the industry how serious we are about the quality of our whisky.

“We feel that we all need to work together to underpin the integrity of the emerging English whisky category. In the meantime, we have set out standards for how we are making Masthouse. 

“We are determined to go that extra mile to make English whisky really special, and we look forward to working with others to create a bright future for the English whisky category.”