The Spirit of Yorkshire team are no strangers to being innovators. From releasing the first single malt whisky to be made in Yorkshire in 2019 – under the name Filey Bay – the team have developed a broad range of finishes and experiments to see where their spirit can be taken. One such experiment has been a collaboration of efforts with their sister company: Wold Top Brewery.
These two projects have worked hand-in-hand to create their respective “field-to-bottle” products. All barley used to make Spirit of Yorkshire’s whisky actually comes from the Wold Top farm. That barley is also used to make Wold Top’s beer.
Wold Top’s flagship beer is their Scarborough Fair IPA. Filey Bay’s flagship whisky is called… Flagship.
The Filey Bay IPA Finish whisky is a culmination of shared efforts. The initial Spirit of Yorkshire new make spirit is matured in ex-bourbon barrels. Once emptied to make their Flagship whisky, the casks are then filled with the Wold Top Scarborough Fair IPA. Once that beer has been duly influenced by the casks over a course of 8 months, it is bottled as Wold Top’s Barrel Wave IPA. Flagship spirit is then placed back in the casks to the soak up that IPA influence, and as such, after 5.5 months, the Filey Bay IPA finish whisky is born.
The final IPA finished whisky was then bottled at 46% ABV, with natural colour and without chill-filtration, available at RRP £60 a full size bottle. Obviously, it is recommended that you try the Scarborough Fair (6.0% ABV) and Barrel Wave (9.1% ABV) IPAs along side it.
Big fruit and a little funk. Seems to have a depth way beyond its years. Pineapple. Apricot. Peach. Vanilla. Citrus. Lots of flavours just popping out. That funk though just sits amongst those fresh flavours. Chocolate limes, stewed apples, porridge oats, and baking spices round it all out.
Spice really steps up and brings some peppery heat to the mix but before too long those fruit flavours are just bursting back and fighting for your attention. There is a strong grapefruit and lemon flavour to it. That classic IPA hop bittersweet flavour. With that touch of funk (which I mention again) it actually reminds me of Cloudy lemonade. Not something that I would ordinarily associate with a single malt.
A sherbet sweet tingle peppered with oak spice and what I can only describe as a hoppy funk.
An outstanding result from an experiment. Sure there’s the Glenfiddich IPA and the Jamesons IPA, but not that many people are doing it really are they? With results like this, it’s crazy to think why not. When tasting it next to the whisky’s original Flagship composition and the then barrel-aged beer result it tastes even better and it is a top experience for the tastebuds. My only regret is not getting a bottle of the Scarborough Fair IPA to go with it too.
On that note, the Barrel Wave was just right up my street. The IPA stepped up with oak and whisky influence. The main addition seems to be the oak flavour but the fruity influences of the Flagship / Filey Bay single malt must be playing hand in hand with the fruity hop profile of the IPA, along with rich dark chocolate and a Tunnock’s caramel set of flavours. It was also worryingly easy to drink and did NOT feel like a 9% beer.
As a regular visitor to Yorkshire, I will have to make it across to the east coast and make a day trip to Hunmanby.
Sample disclosure: This sample and the beer were received as part of a Tweet Tasting event run by The Whisky Wire for the Spirit of Yorkshire / Filey Bay whiskies. All notes are intended as an honest, fair, and independent review of the whisky and beer, and not as a promotion. Please drink responsibly. Please drink wisely.