Henstone Distillery

In 2007 Shane and Alison Parr established the Stonehouse Brewery in Oswestry, Shropshire. Over time the brewery has won numerous accolades for their beers and one imagine that things would have carried on as such, if not for the day that they decided to employ a former Telcoms and IT specialist called Chris Toller.

Chris had ‘retired’ in 2015 and jumped at the chance to work part-time at the brewery. As well as having a love of beer he also had a fascination with distilling and it didn’t take long for him to convince Shane and Alison that it might be an idea to consider diversifying into spirits production, after all it was a natural evolution of their business.

After a few years planning the venture, they received a grant from the Rural Development Programme for England and purchased a still manufactured by Kothe in Germany. This was installed on a mezzanine floor at the brewery, and they began by distilling a vodka and a gin. Since then, they have progressed into single malt whisky, corn whisky, rum and an apple brandy called Non Parel.

Since their first ex-Bourbon barrel release in 2021, they have gone on to release their spirit aged in ex-sherry casks (Oloroso and Pedro Ximinez) as well as spirit finished in small 125 ex-peated quarter casks. Each release is a small batch release, the details of which can be found on their website.

Their Old Dog Corn Liquor, which was launched in January 2020, outshines may equivalent products from across the pond in opinion. Their whisky has a lovely, natural barley’d character with relatively unobtrusive oak and the peated release shows just how much peat character can be extracted form those small casks in a relatively short period of time and is a fantastic dram.

Incidentally, the name Henstone originates from the family homes of the co-founders. Chris and Alexandra Toller live in an ex-public house called ‘The Hen and Chickens’, whilst Shane and Alison live in ‘Stone House’ – Simples!
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