Spirit of Manchester joins English whisky market

by Georgie Pursey

UK-based Spirit of Manchester Distillery will lay down its first whisky this month, with a release date marked for late 2025.

The whisky, called One Point Six English Whisky after mathematician Leonardo Fibonacci's golden ratio, will be distilled using the company's carbon-neutral, 750-litre custom copper still, and will combine English roasted and kilned malts. The distillery will use a longer-than-average four-day fermentation period to give the whisky a distinctive and fruity flavour profile. Master distiller Seb Heeley-Wiggins commented: “We have watched with interest at how the English whisky market has been performing and we are proud to be at the forefront of this trend. “The malts we have sourced are often used in the brewing world, and this has enabled us to be much more experimental and innovative in the flavour profile we have created. We believe we will be offering something completely new to the market, and we’re excited to launch to the public in 2025.” The company has worked with JW Lees Brewery to source the fresh yeasts for the product – specifically a 5,000th generation yeast dating back 30 years, which will provide an ‘authenticity and uniqueness’ to the whisky. The distillery will use first-fill Bourbon, red wine and Sherry casks for the spirit’s three-year maturation, which will be stored in an external warehouse. The move into whisky comes off the back of an accelerated period of growth for the Manchester-based distillery, which will be investing more than £1 million (US$1.2m) into the production – its biggest product investment since it was founded in 2016. With One Point Six new make spirit available to taste from September, the distillery will also launch a Founders Club membership scheme enabling those interested to enjoy regular updates and samples of the liquid throughout its lifetime. Investment opportunities will also be offered on a limited basis, allowing private individual investors interested in the collectibles market to invest in full or quarter casks. Heeley-Wiggins continued: “Our One Point Six Founders Club and investor opportunities will enable us to bring our customers on this journey with us, and we are very excited to provide more details on both this autumn.” It is believed The Spirit of Manchester Distillery will be the 41st whisky distillery in England. According to the English Whisky Guild, the volume of spirit produced by English distilleries is forecast to grow by 189% between 2019 and 2023, while the number of bottles sold is predicted to grow by 418% over the same period. Headquartered in Manchester, the state-of-the-art £1m Spirit of Manchester Distillery is capable of producing more than 1m bottles a year of its spirits, which include One-Eyed Rebel Spiced Rum, Forty-Five Vermouth and Manchester Gin. It is currently in talks with investors to expand its site with a Manchester-based 'super distillery' due to launch in 2025.