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The Beginnings of The Lake Distillery and Cumbria
Paul Currie was in oil and now he’s switched to gold…. Liquid gold!
In his previous job, he sold engine oil to eastern bloc countries shortly after the Berlin wall came down. He also worked for BP in Poland and Russia, dealing with people who want to have a taste of the life in the western world.
Today, he owns the Lakes Distillery and is selling Cumbria around the world — giving whisky fanatics a taste of his product.
The Lakes Distillery was created as a tribute to his father, Harold. At 51, Paul was in his late 20s when he helped his 70 year-old father establish Arran Distillery in the mid-1990s. Harold worked previously for Chivas Regal as managing director and was part of Pernod Ricard Drinks Corporation.
Since no one had thought of setting up an independent distillery for years, Paul thought creating one would be fun.
“I think my heart was always in whisky. Dad was in his 70s and needed someone young to do the running round. People thought we were crazy, since then, people have opened new distilleries everywhere,” Paul said.
About 20 years after the launch of the Arran Distillery, Paul realized there’s still much potential in launching another independent distillery. He could’ve established his dream distillery and made it successful. However, he chose Cumbria primarily because of what it represents; the countryside — lakes and mountains. The fact that it is damp also helped. Furthermore, the taste of the product also mattered; but the surroundings and the setting of the distillery are the deciding point for Paul as he travels over to Europe, America, and the Far East to market his product.
“The location offered us an amazing brand. It is absolutely crucial to us. The actual environment was perfect; it’s great water, particularly for whisky; and you don’t want the weather too hot or too cold, you want it to be damp for evaporation of whisky,” Paul said.
“There are 109 distilleries in Scotland and to be 110 was not so exciting. There are three others in England, but none in the north. Somehow the Lakes has a place in the whisky world. It looks like whisky-making country,” Paul added.
Paul lives near the distillery, while his family home is still in Oxfordshire because he didn’t want to disrupt his children’s schooling. But they came up to Cumbria on holidays.
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