A distillery that moved to Melksham two years ago has begun the three-year maturation process to produce its first-ever whisky.

Ten Hides Whisky has launched the new venture after producing a range of award-winning gins, pink gins and spiced rums since relocating to Melksham in June last year.

This marks a significant moment for the town, as it is believed to be the first whisky ever distilled there using barley from Warminster Maltings.

Wiltshire Times: The Ten Hides Distillery in Melksham plans to produce its first-ever whisky.The Ten Hides Distillery in Melksham plans to produce its first-ever whisky. (Image: Ten Hides Distillery)

Distillery owner Andrew Wilson said: "We're using Wiltshire barley, known for its quality, to create a smooth and exceptional whisky.

"We hope this will not only put Melksham on the map but also encourage tourism and community pride.

“Benefitting from local raw ingredients, including chalk-filtered water from the plain and premium barley, we are setting out to launch a distillery, and a brand, perfectly poised to make a unique and powerful contribution to the world of spirits, both in Wiltshire and beyond.”

Andrew is a former British Army officer who served in Germany, Northern Ireland, Iraq and Afghanistan.

He first conceived the idea of setting up a distillery while undertaking military drills on the chalklands of Salisbury Plain.

He moved back to Wiltshire four years ago following a spell in Aberdeen, where he managed one of Scotland’s largest offshore wind farms.

Mr Wilson launched Ten Hides in February 2020 and the distillery was previously based in Poulshot near Devizes.

The company’s name was inspired by a local village in rural Wiltshire called Tinhead, said to derive from the original ‘Ten Hides’, denoting an ancient measurement of land.

The Ten Hides distillery on the Avonside Business Park on New Broughton Road is also looking for a further £400,000 in funding and is offering people a chance to invest in its whisky casks.

Wiltshire Times: Ten Hides Distillery has laid down its first whisky cask to mature.Ten Hides Distillery has laid down its first whisky cask to mature. (Image: Ten Hides Distillery)

Andrew said: “We are offering cask ownership opportunities for those interested in supporting the project and enjoying a unique investment. Different cask types, such as ex-red wine barrels, will be used to create a range of flavours.”

Ten Hides Distillery also produces a range of gins and spiced rum, staying true to Andrew’s commitment to using local ingredients and supporting the Wiltshire farming tradition.

In November last year, Ten Hides Distillery was named as the ‘Best Emerging Whisky Distillery’ in the South West of England in the Distillery and Brewing Awards, and has won awards for its existing products.

The products are produced under the watchful eye of master distiller Dr Jack Mayo, who gained his qualification at the Heriot-Watt University in Edinburgh.

Mr Wilson added: “Our on-site shop offers visitors the chance to explore our unique selection of handcrafted spirits.

“Whether you're a connoisseur or new to the world of artisanal spirits, our knowledgeable staff are on hand to guide you through our collection, helping you find the perfect bottle to take home or gift to a loved one.”

For those looking to delve deeper into the world of distilling, Ten Hides Distillery offers a behind-the-scenes tour to enable visitors to understand the art and science of distilling. From the raw ingredients to the final product, guests will gain insight into every step of the process.

Following the tour, visitors will be able to indulge in a tasting session where they can savour the distinct flavours and aromas of Ten Hides' spirits.

“It's an opportunity to appreciate the subtleties that make our products truly special,” Mr Wilson said.