Whisky fans raising a glass this Burns Night can celebrate with a new ‘wild water’ which its creators say helps enhance the depth of flavour of Scotch.
Larkfire is sourced from the Isle of Lewis in the Outer Hebrides, where 3-billion-year-old gneiss rock helps give it a unique softness and natural purity that helps unleash the rich mix of aromas in whisky.
A percentage of sales flows back into the islands via an agreement with The Stornoway Trust, which looks after 69,000 acres of land on the Isle of Lewis, where the water is sourced.
In 2017, Swedish chemists Björn Karlsson and Ran Friedman published a paper in the Scientific Reports journal, which helped establish why whisky tastes better when water is added – proving that water boosts the concentration of flavour compounds at the surface of the drink, enhancing the flavour.
Larkfire, priced £1 per can, taps into the growing trend of ‘premiumisation’ in the drinks industry, where consumers take great care in the preparation of their drink, often prioritising quality above quantity.
Larkfire was founded by two whisky enthusiasts who observed people drinking wild water from streams in Scotland.
Co-founder James McIntosh said: ‘Whilst exploring the incredible Scottish landscape, we kept coming across locals drinking wild water straight from the ground.
‘The centuries-old Lewisian gneiss rock is metamorphic and non-soluble, creating a pure and soft natural water with a low mineral content – which is perfect for whisky. It’s this process that helps create such a unique wild water, and we were determined to share it with people up and down the country.
‘In Edinburgh and London you often see people add regular tap water to an expensive Scotch – the problem is tap water has been recycled several times before it even reaches your glass, and chlorine and fluoride are added, interfering with the delicate flavours found in whisky. Put simply, tap water shouldn’t go anywhere near a good Scotch.
‘In Scotland we have a law specifying how whisky should be made, yet we’re willing to dilute this centuries-old craftmanship by allowing bog-standard tap water to be added to our great drink.
‘Bottled water carries its own problems, as its high mineral content interferes with the aroma and taste.
‘Consumers are becoming more discerning about not only their spirits but their mixers too. When you’re paying £20, £30, or even more for a single glass of whisky in a bar, you deserve to have the best water to pair it with.
‘After travelling the breadth of Scotland, consulting master blenders, professors, chemists and geologists along the way, we think we’ve come up with the perfect solution.
‘Mixing Larkfire with whisky creates a natural chemistry – complementing the whisky and unlocking its hidden complexities, creating a drink that is more enjoyable with greater depth.
‘It’s a case of letting nature do its work with as little human intervention as possible.’
Larkfire is sourced on the Isle of Lewis in the Outer Hebrides, which is home to 15% of the UK’s freshwater surface area. The climate of the Isle of Lewis is characterised by short, cool and windy summers and extremely wet and windy winters – this wild climate and Scottish wilderness come together to produce the purest wild water.
The water is held on the surface by 3-billion-year-old Lewisian gneiss rock, among the oldest rock in the world. This non-soluble metamorphic rock is part of the reason for the water’s purity and lack of mineral content – it is naturally very soft and retains a slightly golden hue.
Larkfire is available now from www.larkfire.com