Canned water developed to ‘enhance’ the flavours of whisky


A premium, Scottish-sourced canned water brand called Larkfire is launching to the UK, specifically designed to support and enhance the flavours of whisky.

Developed by two whisky enthusiasts who observed people drinking wild water from streams in Scotland, Larkfire is naturally sourced on the Isle of Lewis in the Outer Hebrides, characterised by its wild, unpredictable climate.

The water is held on the surface by three-billion-year-old Lewisian gneiss rock. 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.

The launch of Larkfire comes after two Swedish chemists published a paper in the Scientific Reports journal in 2017 to prove why whisky tastes better when water is added.

Björn Karlsson and Ran Friedman’s research revealed that adding water boosts the concentration of flavour compounds at the surface of the drink, helping to unleash the rich mix of aromas.

Co-founder James McIntosh said: “We wanted Larkfire to be as close to the perfect water for whisky we could find in the UK and we think we’ve got that.

“We travelled the breadth of Scotland looking for the very finest water to mix with whisky, consulting master blenders, professors, chemists and geologists en route.

“We learnt that the Isle of Lewis is made up of some of the oldest rock in the world, Lewisian gneiss, and that this rock is metamorphic and non-soluble meaning the water there is pure, soft and really low in mineral content.

“The Outer Hebrides is home to 15% of the UK’s freshwater surface area – something we saw first-hand during our many visits – so water supply is regular and plentiful.

“Mixing this water with whisky creates a natural chemistry – the water complements the whisky unlocking its hidden complexities and creating a drink that is more enjoyable and has greater depth.”

Larkfire will be available from September. A percentage of the sales from all Larkfire water will flow back into the islands via an agreement with The Stornoway Trust which looks after 69,000 acres of land on the Isle of Lewis.

Larkfire co-founder James McIntosh
Larkfire co-founder James McIntosh
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