back to article Devonians try to drive Dartmoor whisky plan onto rocks

Devonians are up in arms after plans for a whisky, or possibly whiskey, distillery on Dartmoor were derided as “too Scottish”. Or possibly too Japanese.. Or maybe even too Irish.* Princetown Distillers has submitted plans for a £4m hooch factory in the town of Princetown, slap bang in the middle of the Dartmoor National Park. …

  1. SkippyBing Silver badge

    'West Country sorts clearly prefer brandy, ideally dragged off a beach under cover of darkness after luring a French man-o-war onto treacherous rocks'

    As a West Country sort I'd just like to say it's good to have a hobby that gets you out of the house.

    1. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      If it was French, shouldn't it be Cognac or Armagnac?

    2. Ralph B

      > As a West Country sort I'd just like to say it's good to have a hobby that gets you out of the house.

      And I hope you've been enjoying riding your motorbike.

    3. Oh Homer
      Alien

      Moaning buggers

      "Too Scottish"?

      Puh-lease.

      Up here in Jockland the latest craze is gin distilleries, which is about as Scottish as jellied eels, but you don't hear us whining about it (mostly because we're too busy drinking it).

      Get a life, you Ambrosia custard cockwombles!

  2. AMBxx Silver badge

    Whisky vs Whiskey

    It's a legal distinction Whisky is for Scotch. Whiskey if for everything else

    1. wolfetone Silver badge

      Re: Whisky vs Whiskey

      Whiskey is for whiskey distilled in Ireland. It's Whisky for everything else.

      Examples: Penderyn Whisky (Welsh), Akashi Whisky (Japanese), and The English Whisky Co. Ltd.

      Paddys Whiskey, Jamesons Whiskey, Bushmills Whiskey, and Powers Whiskey.

      1. Tom 7 Silver badge

        Re: Whisky vs Whiskey

        In the UK Whisky is made from grain (barley wheat, rye or maize) and is 3 years in an oak barrel or more. Whiskey is any old shit. Scotch is whisky that is distilled in Scotland. Malt is from barley so that counts a whisky.

        We dont give a toss what the rest of the world do now.

        1. dbannon

          Re: Whisky vs Whiskey

          "....In the UK Whisky..... Whiskey is any old shit."

          Very polite. Anyway, Irish whiskey may be distilled on the island of Ireland, that includes Northern Ireland. Irish whiskey was made long before Scotch, is less well know than Scotch because the Irish refused to lower quality and use the the (Irish invented) Coffey Still, a continuous and much cheaper process requiring blending to put some flavour back.

          Rather sadly, Scottish companies are now opening Irish Distilleries based, no doubt on quantity before quality principles, so the differences will diminish. But I hope they don't force Irish to become "any old shit" just yet.

        2. JDX Gold badge

          Re: Whisky vs Whiskey

          >>in the UK Whisky is made from grain (barley wheat, rye or maize) and is 3 years in an oak barrel or more. Whiskey is any old shit.

          3 year old whisky IS "any old shit".

      2. Voyna i Mor Silver badge

        Re: Whisky vs Whiskey

        "Examples: Penderyn Whisky (Welsh), Akashi Whisky (Japanese), and The English Whisky Co. Ltd."

        You have missed out one I saw in India - Cricket Whisky made from genuine Scottish grapes.

    2. EvilGardenGnome

      Re: Whisky vs Whiskey

      Not so much. Glen Breton whisky is distinctly not Scotch (as it's made in Cape Breton, Nova Scotia, Canada). It does, however, use the spelling whisky.

      Incidentally (and brought on by your legal reference) it is the only single-malt whisky in the world, after having won a court case declaring "single malt" to be incidental to the process and not a distinct feature owned by Scotch.

      1. Eddy Ito Silver badge

        Re: Whisky vs Whiskey

        As a USian it's spelled whiskey as in bourbon whiskey.

        1. wolfetone Silver badge

          Re: Whisky vs Whiskey

          "As a USian it's spelled whiskey as in bourbon whiskey."

          I think you need to go back to your other USian's and politely remind them that it's bourbon whisky.

          Whiskey has an E as it comes from Eire.

          1. Eddy Ito Silver badge
            Pint

            Re: Whisky vs Whiskey

            @wolfetone Actually it may come down to the heritage of the makers in the US. A quick check revealed that our bottles have both spellings, for instance Maker's Mark uses bourbon whisky and Knob Creek has bourbon whiskey. Not that it matters to us, a rose by any other name and all that.

          2. Doctor Syntax Silver badge

            Re: Whisky vs Whiskey

            "Whiskey has an E as it comes from Eire."

            Bushmills comes from N Ireland.

        2. tiggity Silver badge

          Re: Whisky vs Whiskey

          One of the rare occasions where US do not enthusiastically delete letters in spellings!

      2. smudge Silver badge
        WTF?

        Re: Whisky vs Whiskey

        Incidentally (and brought on by your legal reference) it is the only single-malt whisky in the world, after having won a court case declaring "single malt" to be incidental to the process and not a distinct feature owned by Scotch.

        Ehhh??? "Single malt" is simply a term that means the hooch comes from a single distillery. It is not and never has been a term exclusively applied to whisky from Scotland.

        1. EvilGardenGnome

          Re: Whisky vs Whiskey

          The Scottish Scotch producers took Glen Breton to court over the use of 'single malt' to describe the product and 'Glen' in it's name. They proposed Glen Breton was trying to make it sound like it was a Scotch from Scotland. Initially, they won, however the Supreme Court of Canada eventually said there wouldn't be any confusion and let Glen Breton do it's thing.

          Pretty silly, all things considered.

          1. Anonymous Coward
            Anonymous Coward

            Re: Whisky vs Whiskey

            @EGG

            "...in it's name... ...do it's thing."

            It's 'its'.

        2. TheOtherMatt

          Re: Whisky vs Whiskey

          In fact single malt is what it says; it is made from a single malting of barley, as opposed to blended whisky (or whiskey for that matter) which is made from a blend of several maltings, typically to improve the taste (in my sarcastic mind, covering up the poor taste of one malting by diluting it with others!)

          Single malt has nothing to do with coming from just one distillery; most distilleries make both single malt whisky (or whiskey) and blended entirely from their own stock.

      3. Esme

        Re: Whisky vs Whiskey

        I must be imagining the bottle of single malt Old Pulteney I have then! Wish my imagination were a bit stronger...

      4. GrapeBunch Bronze badge

        Re: Whisky vs Whiskey

        I come in peace. When we were kids, we made up alternative lyrics to radio jingles. I have adjusted the spellings in a song that went with a jingle tune for peanut butter:

        Whisky, whiskey, best by far;

        Creamy and smooth to the bottom of the jar;

        Tastes so good, you'll want more;

        Buy some more at your grocery store.

        Whisk(e)y!

        Should please everybody. And as a descendant of long-ago booze merchants from Devon, I'll have you West Country types know that I'm of two minds about your fresh air hobbies.

      5. Anonymous Coward
        Anonymous Coward

        Re: Whisky vs Whiskey

        @EGG

        The Scottish Whisky Asshats (SWA), bless their cold calculating little hearts, claim against Glenora Distillers in Cape Breton, New Scotland was about the "Glen" in Glen Breton. The SWA ultimately lost their ridiculous claim.

        Pardon the Wiki ref, but it *is* accurate:

        https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Glenora_Distillers#Litigation

        AC because the SWA are a litigious bunch (it'd be recursively amusing if they launched legal action complaining of that description).

        P.S. Nova Scotia is having a boom in wineries, microbreweries and distilleries. It's getting amazing. My poor liver.

  3. EvilGardenGnome

    Traditional architecture

    So, does this mean the summary removal of anything other than roundhouses?

    1. allthecoolshortnamesweretaken Silver badge

      Re: Traditional architecture

      Maybe something with a Roman motif?

  4. Michael H.F. Wilkinson Silver badge
    Pint

    Slàinte mhath

    Maybe they should have offered the inhabitants the a free tot or two. Might have helped

    Mine's a Talisker Port Ruighe, please

    BTW, unlikely places are making good whisky nowadays. I had some very nice Taiwanese whisky (Kavalan) recently. Not bad at all

    1. wolfetone Silver badge

      Re: Slàinte mhath

      I can personally recommend the Tobermory Whisky. Which is distilled on the isle of Tobermory, where the CBBC show "Ballamory" was filmed, if anyone who was forced to watch enjoyed watching it was interested.

      1. Alan Stewart

        Re: Slàinte mhath

        Close, but Tobermory isn't an island, it is a town on the Isle of Mull.

        1. wolfetone Silver badge

          Re: Slàinte mhath

          That's the last time I do geography when I'm drunk.

      2. Doctor Syntax Silver badge

        Re: Slàinte mhath

        Tobermory, where the CBBC show "Ballamory" was filmed, if anyone who was forced to watch enjoyed watching it was interested.

        I'm not sure about interested but it would have been an essential adjunct.

      3. Ralph B

        Re: Slàinte mhath

        > the isle of Tobermory, where the CBBC show "Ballamory" was filmed

        That programme tore the heart out of the community.

        1. GrapeBunch Bronze badge
          Joke

          Re: Slàinte mhath

          That programme tore the heart out of the community.

          That would be Silent Witness working overtime on a holiday weekend.

    2. macjules Silver badge

      Re: Slàinte mhath

      Totally agree. Who gives a damn about how it sounds, what the distillery looks like, is there an 'e' somewhere or not: it's all about one thing - the taste. If they are making something that tastes like Bonnie Prince Charlie threw up in his boot and someone left it in a barrel and sold to Tesco, then they deserve nothing. However if they can produce a whisky that even approximates a malt like Old Pulteney Vintage 1989 then take the jobs, take the money and don't forget to say thank you.

  5. Rich83
    Pint

    Whisky Galore

    As another West Country sort I can't help but wonder how many of the objectors were doing so from second homes in Devon. Coming from the Somerset/Devon/Dorset border I'd say many people would welcome something that would boost the local economy, attract more visitors* and create a few jobs, as well as providing an alternative to apples.

    That said mine's a Jura...

    *Except when I'm trying to cross the sodding 303 in summer.

    1. JetSetJim Silver badge

      Re: Whisky Galore

      Having spent the <5 mins required to drive through the entire town in Streetview, I can confirm that there are no pagodas in the town, so can perhaps understand their concerns.

      On the other hand, the vast majority of the houses in the town are either terraced with render (Victorian era?), or really crap 50's-ish semis that look ghastly, IMHO, I think a nice pagoda building may make a delightful addition to local vernacular. Or they could repurpose a derelict building in the area (possibly extending it if it's not big enough), perhaps incorporating some smell-reduction measures in the design. If not, the brewery's current location isn't exactly intrusive on the village itself so why should they give a flying toss what a distillery looks like.

      1. Pen-y-gors Silver badge

        Re: Whisky Galore

        I seem to remember that the chokey is going to close? Or at least be downgraded. Couldn't they just put the distillery there - very strongly vernacular architecture. And it's not exactly the prettiest building. I suspect most of the ugly new housing in Princetown is quarters for the screws and their families.

        1. Fruit and Nutcase Silver badge
          Happy

          Re: Whisky Galore

          I seem to remember that the chokey is going to close? Or at least be downgraded. Couldn't they just put the distillery there

          Ready source of labour

          Working in "Quality Control" would be an earned privilege

          make mine a "Jailhouse on the Rocks"

      2. keith_w

        Re: Whisky Galore

        Thanks, that was fun seeing the sights in beautiful Princeton ;)

      3. John Brown (no body) Silver badge

        Re: Whisky Galore

        repurpose a derelict building"

        Unfortunately, that attracts VAT while putting up a new building from scratch doesn't. For industrial building, at least, it's nearly always cheaper to put up a new building than to refurbish.

    2. WraithCadmus
      Angel

      Re: Whisky Galore

      Saw Jura, but didn't have the time to visit, was too busy on Islay.

      As it's Friday can I tempt anyone for a bit of Ardbeg Corryvreckan?

      Icon: Alcohol lost during maturation is called the "Angel's Share".

    3. Mike Richards Silver badge

      Re: Whisky Galore

      Quite - thanks to the National Trust, Prince Charles and the second homers who want to keep everything in chocolate box poverty, there's precious little allowed to happen in Cornwall and Devon.

      There's already a Cornish whiskey (yes they spell it that way) with the very Cornish name of 'Hicks and Healey'. Haven't tasted it, but I'm sure the radon adds a special something.

      1. Nick Kew Silver badge
        Pint

        Re: Whisky Galore

        There is actually quite a bit of modern housing in Princetown. A couple of new estates went up in about 2005-ish. Before that, there's some probably-1950s stuff, and then the older buildings where you're most likely to find something half-decent. House prices are also what you'd expect on a fairly ugly estate, not at all like more desirable Dartmoor villages.

        However, any time you're in the area, the Dartmoor Brewery's Jail Ale is an excellent pint. If they can produce a chaser to match, this local won't say no.

        ObLocalFact. The prison has (or recently had) a writer-in-residence. Well, not physically in residence, but an official post: I guess she was there literarily rather than literally. I found out when I learned that my new neighbour downstairs (where I lived until recently) was that writer.

      2. Doctor Syntax Silver badge

        Re: Whisky Galore

        "I'm sure the radon adds a special something."

        I''d hope it would be matured longer than that.

    4. JeffyPoooh Silver badge
      Pint

      Re: Whisky Galore

      That's ----^---- a funny old movie.

  6. JDX Gold badge

    Scottish architecture is suddenly so different from English? What silliness.

    As a whisky fan and a Dartmoor fan, I could see it being a great place to have a go.

    1. Doctor Syntax Silver badge

      "Scottish architecture is suddenly so different from English? What silliness."

      Not silliness at all. British - or let's say insular to include Irish - regional architectures are distinctive. Local history and materials affect it. It would be madness, for instance, to attempt Cotswold or Pennine coursed masonry with Antrim basalt.

    2. Pen-y-gors Silver badge

      Scottish architecture?

      Is very distinctive - think of baronial castles etc, strong French chateau influences. And Glasgow tenements?

      England (and Wales) had strong regional styles as well, at least until Barrett boxes started going up everywhere.

      1. Halfmad

        Re: Scottish architecture?

        All areas of the UK have distinctive architecture, or as you eluded to - use to have.

        Thing is this looks like it's out on it's own, not in the actual village so it wouldn't look out of place - but then again they don't seem to be objecting to a distillery, just the cosmetics so easily enough fixed.

        I just hope they don't end up with random grey panels under windows which seems to have become the latest architectural trend on houses in my area,it looks **** !

      2. Tom 7 Silver badge

        Re: Scottish architecture?

        The irony shirley is the fact there are many Scottish castles that seem to be modelled on Dartmoor prison.

        I bet most of the people who objected are those bastard newcomers like me!

        I should add I didnt object - I was a member of the Scotch Malt Whisky Society for many years until it became too popular and having experimented with distilled liquors made with love and care from all over the work would welcome some local whisky. I'd make it myself but for those damned EU laws the EU forced on the UK in 1823 to piss the Scots off. At least with brexit we will be free of the boot stamping on the human face - forever. I'm sure leapard print heels will be much nicer.

    3. Steve Davies 3 Silver badge

      Should have made it look like...

      A Prison. After all, they have/had one there.

      Precident and all that.

  7. Anonymous Coward
    Pint

    Cruel and unusual punishment...

    Just think of the poor buggers in HM Prison Dartmoor having to wake up to the smell of a distillery every day!

    1. JetSetJim Silver badge

      Re: Cruel and unusual punishment...

      Cruel and unusual punishment, I'd claim, unless they used odour control towers to reduce the whiff

      1. allthecoolshortnamesweretaken Silver badge

        Re: Cruel and unusual punishment...

        From the linked article: "The proposal is to build a 30-metre an artificial emissions tower to reduce the distillery's environmental impact."

        That seems like a fancy synonym for chimney. Or exhaust duct. Or... the target is an exhaust port located at the top of a raised structure...

      2. Anonymous Coward
        Anonymous Coward

        Re: Cruel and unusual punishment...

        Reduce, but not totally remove. And you can guarantee that on some days whyen the wind is blowing in the wrong direction...

  8. Yesnomaybe

    A small correction...

    I want to draw the attention to the picture in this article. There is ice in the glass. This is wrong.

    1. 7-zark-7

      Re: A small correction...

      "I want to draw the attention to the picture in this article. There is ice in the glass. This is wrong."

      Only if you don't want ice. If you want ice in your drink of choice then its pretty much perfect.

      1. Yesnomaybe

        Re: A small correction...

        "If you want ice in your drink of choice then its pretty much perfect."

        No, I'm afraid it is still wrong.

      2. I ain't Spartacus Gold badge

        Re: A small correction...

        Obviously you're welcome to put ice in any drink you want. It's your drink after all. But putting ice in good single malt whisky is still wrong.

        A bit of water is fine. Some whiskies taste amazingly different with the addition of a bit of water, and so you should probably try them both ways before deciding. If I'm going to drink Laphroaig, that's how I'll take it. I also have a bottle of cask strength Talisker that isn't really drinkable without water. In an ideal world the water should be soft and shouldn't be too cold.

        The reason not to use ice, is not that it'll water the whisky, but that it'll chill it. Which means you don't get the flavours. Almost all flavour comes from up your nose, the tongue only being able to detect salt, sweet, sour, bitter and umami. You need all those lovely chemicals to be nice and warm, so they can waft up yer hooter, and make niceness.

        Which is why I prefer my whisky from a brandy glass - so my hand can warm it up.

        If you want to drink something cheap, especially with a mixer, then ice is no problem. But if you're paying double the price (or more) for good quality stuff, then presumably you're drinking for the flavour, and so ice is a no-no.

    2. Gideon 1
      Joke

      Re: A small correction...

      The ice won't help. If it's a whisky made in Dartmoor it will need cola or ginger ale to make it palatable.

    3. Lars Silver badge

      Re: A small correction...

      So true, ice turns to water and ends down your knees and eventually makes walking unstable, said with some personal experience.

    4. Tom 7 Silver badge

      Re: A small correction...

      No - if someone wants ice in their whisky then its out duty to make sure they get what they want. Cooled to -120C it will lodge and freeze in the throat when they tip it down due to a nudge in the back at the right time.

    5. TheProf
      Pint

      Re: A small correction...

      Not wrong. It's the drinker's choice.

      Some whiskies I enjoy neat and some I enjoy with a single cube of ice. My taste-buds my rules.

  9. Doctor Syntax Silver badge

    Beeb report with pictures of the plans here: http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/uk-england-devon-38755219

    Looking at pictures of Scottish distilleries on Shutterstock most seem to be rendered white which would match Princetown buildings and the tower on the plans is said to be purely cosmetic. There seems to be no good reason not to have produced a design which would have respected local styles and wouldn't have been out of keeping with Scottish distilleries in either the lack of tower or the colour of render.

    1. harmjschoonhoven

      Re: pictures of the plans @ http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/uk-england-devon-38755219

      It is all wrong: The lettering of the Princetown distillery should not be DISTILLERY, but H.M. PRISON.

  10. Detective Emil
    Meh

    Everybody's at it

    In the past year, I've had acceptable single malts from Brittany and several parts of Germany. I don't know whether the distilleries have pagodas, though. Maybe they don't, and that's why their products still have a way to go before they could show their face in Scotland.

  11. Sam Jelfs

    Strictly speaking distilleries don't have pagodas, they have a "Doig's Ventilator", or a cupola.

    https://scotchwhisky.com/magazine/the-way-i-see-it/9504/why-distilleries-have-cupolas-not-pagodas/

    1. Gene Cash Silver badge
      IT Angle

      What a arsehole website scotchwhisky.com is... First they hit you with the stupid "WHAT IS YOUR EMAIL?" popup that seems to be the rage now, so you disable JS for them and then none of the images load.

      1. VeganVegan
        Trollface

        Get back at them

        if obnoxiousWebsite.com does that to me, and assuming I still would like to get in and take a look, I give them "theidiots@obnoxiousWebsite.com".

        Seems to let me in most times.

    2. Voyna i Mor Silver badge

      "Strictly speaking distilleries don't have pagodas, they have a "Doig's Ventilator", or a cupola."

      I'm glad somebody mentioned this. It is definitely a cupola (only one roof). Pagodas have multiple tiers of roofs.

      However, the word may derive from a root meaning "temple" or "place of good fortune", so it could be appropriate.

      On the other hand the Russian word pagoda means weather, and Dartmoor has a lot of that too.

  12. allthecoolshortnamesweretaken Silver badge

    Re: Devonians

    In my continental ears "Devoninans" sounds like it refers to either time travellers or aliens from outer space, and either way like from a 1950ies Quatermass serial.

    1. Tom 7 Silver badge

      Re: Devonians

      'Devon' somehow comes from the name of the tribe who lived here* - the Dumnonii. I'd suggest the contraction of this into Devon proves some form of distilling has been going on for years round here.

      * apparently its cos they spoke brythonic (gaelic) round here and Defnas means men of Domnonia

      1. Doctor Syntax Silver badge

        Re: Devonians

        "Defnas means men of Domnonia"

        Thanks, Tom. Always something to learn on el Reg..

    2. arctic_haze Silver badge

      Re: Devonians

      My thought exactly. Most probably a less known offshoot of the Silurians, old time enemies of the Doctor and generally us, the apes.

  13. Whiskers

    Sheep ponies and walkers

    I hope they manage to filter out the effects of sheep ponies and walkers on the local streams. But anything that makes the water more palatable has to be welcomed.

    I can't say I've ever noticed vast fields of golden barley on the moor, but there's plenty of peat.

  14. davideworth

    Fame at last...

    For Princetown at least.

    As (probably) the only El Reg reader who actually lives in Princetown, I'd just like to say how delighted I am to see a mention of our humble hamlet grace these hallowed pages. I fear that it will be the proverbial cold day in hell before it happens again.

    Should there be any fine upstanding reporters from The Register reading these comments who would like further details on this ongoing crisis of international import, I would be willing to tell you all about it.

    At great length.

    In teethgrindingly tedious detail.

    Hey, don't judge me, I live in the middle of Dartmoor. We've got to make our own entertainment up here.

  15. Dr_N Silver badge

    Plenty of Good Whisky being produced in England

    The English Whisky Co and the more recent Cotswolds Distillery to name but two.

    Foolish not to get in on this "artisanal" style luxury alcoholic beverage market.

  16. RegGuy1

    Aqua vitae

    Spelling distinction between Scotch whisky and Irish and American whiskey is a 19c. innovation.

    http://www.etymonline.com/index.php?term=whiskey

  17. FlippingGerman

    This Devonian (though only through birth, not by heritage) doesn't get out much. And no, I don't want a whisk(e)y distillery, piss off back to Scotland.

  18. SeanC4S

    https://youtu.be/e5RBQndmh9Q

  19. Milton Silver badge

    Whisk(e)y?

    Just be glad it isn't still spelled "usquebaugh".

    I wouldn't put ice in a good whisky, the chill kills the nose, which as others have remarked, is important. A touch of water often helps bring out the full flavour.

    And yes, the best glass is one like a snifter, because so much of the "taste" actually is smell.

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