The English Whisky Company led the new wave of English whisky makers when they released the first English single malt for more than a hundred years in 2009. There are around 3,000 casks maturing in their Norfolk warehouses today with fantastic bottlings such as our 5 year old available to enjoy!
This week we’re taking a closer look at the The English Whisky Company. Why, I hear you ask? Well, they turned 10 years old on 12th December and we forgot to wish them a very Happy Birthday! The distillery was the first to produce whisky in England for over 100 years, but what else do you know about them?
About the Distillery
Founder James Nelstrop always had an interest in whisky, but it wasn’t until he turned 60 that he and his son, Andrew decided to pursue his dream.
Some of the best barley is grown in Norfolk, and the Breckland water is superb. After a great deal of research a planning application was submitted and approval was granted in January 2006. The initial plan was for a micro distillery, but the story told is that customs and excise wouldn’t consider anything smaller than 1800 litre stills
Renowned ex-Laphroaig distiller, Iain Henderson was talked out of retirement and helped the new distillery to get going. In December 2006 the first 29 barrels were filled with new make spirit, and three years later, at the end of 2009, the first English whisky in over a century was released.The distillery was opened to the public in 2008, with a visitor centre, a very well appointed whisky shop and tours.
Before Iain finally retired, he spent four months training ex-Greene King brewer David Fitt the fine art of distilling whisky. David has been the chief whisky maker since 2008 and as well as overseeing all the production, also ensures the maturation and bottling run smoothly.
There is just one pair of stills and they have a capacity of producing over 100,000 litres of pure alcohol per year, although they haven’t reached this just yet, with 2016’s total reaching 50,000 litres. Sixty percent of the production is unpeated, the remainder peated. They are expecting to produce a little more through 2017.
There are currently 3,000 casks maturing on site, and all of the ex-bourbon casks come from Jim Beam, but they also have a rolling program of cask trials, with es Sherry and Rum casks being used for some of their limited releases.
Did you know
This English Whisky Company’s distillery is named St. George’s and their logo depicts a heavily armoured St George drawing his sword in readiness to slay the evil dragon
English whisky is batch made by hand, there’s no computerised equipment. Even the bottling is done by hand, one bottle at a time.
There’ll be a new visitor centre reception built through 2017, increasing the restaurant facilities and relocating the shop
About the Bottling
Our first batch from The English Whisky Company is bottled as a five year old. Yielding just 964 bottles, of natural cask colour, non-chill filtered at 49.5% abv, and it’s available from fine retailers now for around £40.
The label depicts a rare, and early POV shot of George’s encounter with the dragon, the camera was obviously strapped to George’s head before putting his helmet on. Was it really a maiden he was saving, or was it that case of golden Boutique-y whisky he was after?
Nose: Smoky with complex notes of caramel, citrus and hints of Buttercup syrup.
Palate: Sweet pastries and more of the sooty peat from the nose with butterscotch beneath the surface.
Finish: Drying, smoky, sweet malt.
Off-trade/on-trade enquiries should be directed to our UK distributor, Maverick Drinks.