The first distillery they founded was Psychopomp Microdistillery in Bristol. In 2010 they started making gin on homemade stills made from stove-top pressure cookers. Psychopomp was launched in 2014. Gin is an amazing because you can build layers of flavour on a neutral base spirit, but eventually their passion for flavour lead them to consider creating spirits from raw materials such as grain and molasses. Circumstance distillery was launched in Bristol in 2018 under the care of head distiller Mark Scott.
Circumstance is one of the very few urban whisky distilleries. It can be found hidden in an unassuming industrial estate in the centre of Bristol just off the M32. At Circumstance distillery we have only two interest – flavour and sustainability.
We are always looking to improve our sustainability. A major part of this is using only organic grains from British fields. We have always used organic grains exclusively at Circumstance distillery and became accredited by the Soil Association in 2020 as an organic producer.
Images © Circumstance Distillery
After sustainability are only other focus is flavour. We believe strongly that the most important part of the whisky making process is the mashing and fermentation. The mashing and fermentation creates flavour. Distillation selects flavours and maturation develops flavours, but to make amazing spirits you need to have created flavour in the first place. Our mashing is done by hand at the distillery and carefully controlled by Mark. Beer yeasts produce lower yields but better flavours. We only use select beer yeasts for fermentation.
The yeast we use is dependent on the mash bill. We have three different mash bills. Our first is malted and unmalted barley. Our second is malted wheat with malted barley. Our third is malted rye with malted barley. We use long, open fermentations to build flavour.
Our fermentations are extremely long (by whisky standards). Our fermentation for whisky typically take 10-14 days. The fermentation of molasses for our rum can take up to 3 weeks.
We do not make a single malt. We include unmalted barley in the mash bill with malted barley.
The wash is distilled on our 1800L hybrid still. It has a stainless steel pot with copper whisky hood and copper 4 plate column.
The new make spirit is casked at 62.5%
We use many different types of cask. We mostly use new Spanish oak and first-fill bourbon casks, but we also have sherry seasoned casks and Andean oak casks.
Our first whisky will be released in September 2022, until then we are releasing a few delicious short aged grain spirits.
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