By Sorren Krebs
It is truly a very exciting time for English whisky scene. It is the dawn of a new era, it is the birth of a new industry sector and it is beginning to thrive.
Don’t miss the boat, English whisky is a thing, it’s not a myth and it will continue to grow…
12 Year old whisky from The English Whisky Co – Released by The Single Cask
Distillery.. St George Distillery
Region.. Norfolk – Uk
Age.. 12 years
Casks.. Both 50l Broken down ex Red wine
Filling Strength.. 68.5%
Distilled.. Un peated.. 22-1-09
Distilled.. Peated – 04-03-09
Nose.. – Dates, raisins and plum jam slowly turn into dark chocolate, Coffee, old leather and rich toffee notes before a Manuka style honey note delivers some balance with an earthy undertone. Glace cherries softly enter the frame with some roasted pineapple notes and a little tobacco scent.
Palate.. This kicks off with some lovely heat that is quickly followed by those dried fruits, chocolate and some coffee bean bitterness.. Oak tannins are evident which helps balance a sweetness that resembles honey and rich vanilla sponge cake..
Finish.. Lingering spices with a nice sweetness.
Thoughts.. There is a richness to this non peated whisky whisky that balances out those spices from such a long maturation within these 50l casks. The casks which were 2/3rd fills (although only very short fills to start with) have actually done remarkably well by not overpowering this spirit and turning it into a pure oak flavoured whisky.
Nose.. A soft smokey start leads into honeyed sweetness and an abundance of dried fruits. Dark chocolate rises with Tobacco leaf, old leather, aniseed and burnt apple pie notes. Vanilla pod and toffee again offers more sweetness before the scents of smoldering oak and warm ash makes its way back in.
Palate.. Sweet smoke and ashy notes mingle with bold oak notes, ginger adds some heat along with roasted chestnuts, bitter dark chocolate and damp leather. There is a hint of liquorice in the background along with plum, wild berries and Glace cherries.
Finish.. Spices and oak dominate
Thoughts.. This peated expression from the English shows how good and bold peated whisky can be from an English distillery, not only does it show we can do it, it shows we can do it to a very high standard.. For informational value only – The peat does come from Scotland and the barley is peated by Crisps north of the border.. The peat is a mainland peat so there is less of those medicinal notes held within this whisky.
Both these releases are from some very rare 50l casks that once held red wine before being broken down to this 50l size. The unpeated versions were distilled in January 2009 with the peated spirit being distilled March 2009 to a peat level of 50-55ppm .
The peating of the barley was undertaken by Crisps maltings from their Scottish premises using peat obtained from the Scottish mainland.
What i do need to add to this review is just how different these casks are from what the English distillery is generally offering up, the softer spirit for which we are better known has done remarkably well in these dominant casks and has certainly offered up something so very different.
These releases are not going to be around long and are some of the oldest whisky released to date from the English Whisky Co.. Also like i have said, they are different from most of the other expressions released from anyone and are certainly raising a talking point from those who have tried similar releases..
Firstly let me say I do work for The English Whisky Co and therefore these are only my personal thoughts and should be taken that way.. All info and Opinions are my personal thoughts..
Secondly i would like to thank The Single Cask who are independent bottlers and so much more for approaching me to do this review..