A family-run distillery in Abingdon which began as a home-and-garage operation has won an award for its whisky.

Jordan Morris, owner of Abingdon Distillery, said it was “good to get recognition” after entering the World Whisky Masters competition on a whim and receiving a silver medal for the distillery’s first single malt whisky.

Herald Series: Casks at Abingdon Distillery

Mr Morris, 35, only began brewing the distillery’s single malt a few months ago.

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He said: “It was good to be given the award. I’ve come from hospitality. I’m not a brewer, so it was a bit unexpected.

“I entered the competition on a whim, someone told me to enter as a joke, so I did.

“It was good to get recognition, and good to know what we’ve made is great already. We can only improve.”

The owner and head distiller, originally from Newcastle, told the Abingdon Herald that his whisky had won the New Make category.

Herald Series: Jordan Morris, owner of Abingdon Distillery, rolling a cask

He added: “It takes three years until a whisky can be called a whisky, the raw grains need a good amount of time in oak to get the flavours and develop. We’ve got three casks on site.

“This award was based on the raw, new-make spirit, and it came a few weeks before we started filling the casks.

“We made tweaks based on judge feedback, and other distillers gave me some tips, which I did for the first task.”

The distillery has launched a whisky founders club, where supporters can get exclusive access to future casks.

Mr Morris added: “People can follow the journey as the malt matures in the barrel. They can get a sample of it after one year, two years and three years of maturity.

“There’s more value in this membership too. People won’t just be buying the whisky, they will also et pre-order access to single cask whiskies in future.

“We’re going to be creating some really wacky flavours, including whisky left in a cherry brandy barrel. Founders club membership guarantees people a bottle if they want it.”

The distillery also produces rum and gin.

Mr Morris said: “We’ve had a really progressive, organic journey. We began as a home and garage operation back when I had a full-time job, then a year and a half ago I left the job and began working on the distillery full time.

“We started with gin four years ago, and moving into the new site in Abingdon allowed us to start producing rum and single malt whisky – English rum and whisky is beginning to have its day.”


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This story was written by Matthew Norman, he joined the team in 2022 as a Facebook community reporter.

Matthew covers Bicester and focuses on finding stories from diverse communities.

Get in touch with him by emailing: Matthew.norman@newsquest.co.uk

Follow him on Twitter: @OxMailMattN1