St. Georges Distillery The English Whisky Co. Original Single Malt English Whisky (700ml)

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St. Georges Distillery The English Whisky Co. Original Single Malt English Whisky (700ml)

UNITED KINGDOM
$99.99 Bottle
  • ABV 43%

A century ago England's distilleries closed their doors due to fierce competition from their northern neighbours and a spike in the popularity of gin. In 2006, two farmers, James Nelstrop and son Andrew began experimenting with excess grain, turning it into new-make. At three years of age, St. George distillery's 'Chapter 5' release became England's first Whisky in over one hundred years.

Located about 300 miles from the Scottish border, copper stills and equipment were purchased from Forsyths of Rothes, who have been servicing the whisky industry since the late 1800’s. Legendary Laphroaig distiller, Iain Henderson was tempted away from retirement and commissioned for the initial runs with the first 29 barrels filled in December 2006. Iain finally did retire, but not before he spent four months training David Fitt, a brewer from Greene King to take over. David is now distillery manager.

The physical operation is called ‘St. George’s Distillery’, but all the whiskies are marketed under the 'EWC' label. Both unpeated and peated whisky is produced, in conjunction with a rolling program of cask trials that includes x-rum and sherry casks. Pinning down a ‘house style’ is difficult. The company is the most prolific producer of English malt whisky, though by Scotch standards, output is miniscule.

The flagship lineup employs a chapter system, with Chapter 5 representing their first-ever whisky release (chapters 1-4 were new make or less than three years old, which legally can’t be called whisky in the U.K.). Some are harder to find than others. Virtually all of them have received rave reviews from the likes of Jim Murray. Early bottlings we tasted back in 2011 were precocious. There are now two core products referred to as "Original" and "Smokey". At the time of writing, EWC’s 11 year olds are the oldest English whiskies made to date.

Aged in selected x Bourbon Casks, the 'Original' is completely unpeated with the focus on the quality of the distillate.

Tasting note: The beautifully soft nose-feel borders on sublime. Aromas of Marie biscuits, fresh sponge cake and vanilla-laced malt with emerging fruitiness. Equally delightful flavour-wise , the malt landing on the tongue like a pillow; oily, with light orchard fruits; some beeswax and biscuity malt through the aftertaste. Spices build, adding depth. Impeccable sweet-dry balance. Lingering orchard fruitiness. Quite delicious. 43% Alc./Vol.

Other reviews… So light. The malt seems distracted by the gently encroaching vanillas with the oils scuppered at this strength the daintier notes have a slight advantage….clean, soft, silky, exceptionally malty and then a surge of salivating gristy sweetness… Norfolk’s finest. Pleasant, hugely enjoyable and friendly. But by EWC standards, pretty basic too. 89 points - Jim Murrays Whisky Bible 2017

Malt barns, cornflakes, some sparse vanilla, redskin peanuts, citrus peel, and a dash of white pepper on the nose. The overall impression on the olfactory system is gentle and mild. A tasty prospect, with poached pear, vanilla ice cream, honeydew, peppery spices, ground almond, custard tarts, lemon zest, malt, and peanut brittle. A little tangy citrus, deep warmth, and vanilla to finish. Rather moreish. (480 bottles) 89 points
- maltadvocate.com, reviewed by: Jonny McCormick (Spring 2018)

Gold Medal. San Francisco World Spirits Competition 2017.