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Whisky director at Yorkshire’s first malt whisky distillery invited onto London flavour panel

Joe Clark pictured second left with fellow panellists

The whisky director from Yorkshire’s first whisky distillery was invited onto a panel of experts discussing extraordinary flavour at the London Coffee Festival recently.

To celebrate its debut at the iconic coffee festival, Taylors of Harrogate’s tea and coffee experts invited Yorkshire brands to join them for the panel discussion that was hosted by Saturday kitchen star and food writer, Rosie Birkett.

Joe Clark, from Spirit of Yorkshire Distillery in Hunmanby, was joined on the panel by Paul Rawlinson, director of Harrogate restaurant, Norse; Dirk Mischendahl, co-founder of Northern Bloc Ice Cream; Claire Gallagher, head of Food and Drink Innovation at Bettys; Tom Crapper, brewer at Roosters Brewing Co and Jack Dobson, ginstructor at London’s Ginstitute for the 45 minute Q&A session that was enjoyed by over 100 people.

Kelly Wright, brand manager at Taylors of Harrogate said: “When we decided to exhibit at the London Coffee Festival, we knew we should showcase what Taylors stands for in a really original way. We’re lucky to have close relationships with a number of Yorkshire food and drink brands who, like us, are driven by their devotion to extraordinary flavour.

“To talk about this dedication in a fun and inspiring way, we decided to invite them to join us on a panel to talk to Festival-goers about flavour trends, traditions and transitions.”

Of his first London Coffee Festival experience, Joe Clark said:  “Having the opportunity to discuss flavour with a dedicated group of sensory professionals was just brilliant.

“Who knew there are so many people excited about coffee? Giving an enthusiastic, flavour driven audience like this the opportunity to pick the brains of sensory and flavour experts is a brilliant concept.

“It allowed us as panelists to champion the skills and exciting developments in our industries, as well as broadening the knowledge of individuals who are passionate about flavour. It was a pleasure to be a part of it. Here’s to next year!”

Mr Clark, a published author on whisky, is responsible for tasting and blending the maturing spirit that will become Yorkshire’s first malt whisky when it matures in April 2019.

Ahead of the launch, a limited number of bottles of maturing spirit are being made available. The latest one, Distillery Projects (DP) 002, is on sale now.

Unlike conventional malts, DP002 is distilled in a combination of column and pot stills for an appealingly light texture. It’s then aged in a mix of bourbon, sherry and red wine casks to add depth to the flavour.

Spirit of Yorkshire was launched in 2016 and is a collaboration between farmer and brewer, Tom Mellor from Wold Top Brewery and business partner, David Thompson. The pair have invested significantly to follow their dream of creating a Yorkshire whisky that doesn’t simply replicate Scotch.

The distillery is a true field to bottle setup and boasts some of the most impressive distilling equipment in the country, including two of the largest Forsyth pot stills operating in the UK outside of Scotland.

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