The Lost Distillery: Jericho

The Lost Distillery Company has released another expression, Jericho based on the Jericho Benachie distillery which existed from 1822 to 1913. Jericho joins the range of Auchnagie, Stratheden and Gerston whiskies.

Speaking at Stitch Bar in Sydney, Andrew Hogan from The Lost Distillery Company presented a tasting of all four expressions including the new Jericho. The Lost Distillery whiskies are all blended single malts made from barley and were recreated based on how they would taste if they were made today.

William Smith was the first owner of Jericho, a deeply religious man. The water source for the distillery was the Jordan burn and as he believed his fortune ran down that stream, he named the distillery Jericho after the biblical town.

The water source was soft, clear and slightly earthy. The peat in the area consists mainly of heather roots and leaf mulch which makes it slightly smoky, slightly woody and herbal.

The Lost Distillery Jericho
The Lost Distillery Jericho

Much of the distillery’s history is told on the official website. When Smith dies, he passed it to his son in law John Maitland who commenced a period of modernisation which significantly improved the taste of the whisky. He constructed a purpose-built mash tun of cast iron which allowed for consistent sugar levels, introduced dry yeast which was free of contamination and gave a consistent and clean wash which improved the flavour of the whisky. He also started using sherry casks.

After Maitland’s death, Jericho was sold to William Callander and John Graham in 1883 who changed the name to Benachie. Financial pressures in the early twentieth century forced the distillery to be sold to Distiller’s Company Limited. However, the sale did not include the licence to produce whisky and as this was upheld in court, Benachie produced no more whisky and closed in 1913.

The Jericho expression (46% ABV) is non chill-filtered and has no added colouring. The heavy spirit is sherry dominant. The aroma is fruity with delicate spices and a hint of oak. It starts quite sweet on the front palate with dried fruit, sultanas then moves on to a woody leafy peat with a herbaceous end. The finish is slightly smoky with a balance of fruit and oak.

The next expression from The Lost Distillery will be from Lossit distillery which closed on Islay in 1860 and will be available in 2015.

Photography © by Kevin Burke for Gourmantic – Copyright: All rights reserved.


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About the author

Corinne Mossati

Corinne Mossati is the Founder/Editor of popular online magazine Gourmantic and Cocktails & Bars, a website dedicated to cocktail culture and the discerning drinker. She is named in Australian Bartender Magazine’s Top 100 Most Influential List since 2013, is a member of The Academy responsible for judging the World’s 50 Best Bars. She has also judged the inaugural Australasian Whisky Awards and various national cocktail competitions.