Friday, 4 August 2017

Strange smoke from St. George's English Whisky

There are a number of English distilleries in operation at the moment, not all of them have started selling whisky yet.

Map :

I'll cover off some of them in my new series "Newer Distilleries" but for now here's a review of two drams from The English Whisky Company and it's St George’s Distillery near Norwich.

Photo : English Whisky Company

Their whisky is batch made by hand with no computers, matured in fine casks, bottled on site using their own water and is non chill-filtered. In this review I'm looking at two of their basics drams The English Original and Smokey.

Original and Smokey

Whisky : The English Original (NAS)
Characteristics : 43% ABV, NCF, Non-coloured
Price : £36 widely available
Colour : Light Gold
Nose : Green apple and vanilla ice cream; a little alcohol burn, a sweet honey develops over time.
Palate : Nutty honey on the tongue, quite sweet and slightly drying.
Finish : Buttered popcorn and a little spiced orange.
Overall : A pleasant little dram, very sweet and youthful.
Link : Original

Whisky : The English Smokey (NAS)
Characteristics : 43% ABV, NCF, Non-coloured
Price : £36 widely available
Colour : Light Gold - the same as the Original so I'm assuming they share the same maturation methods.
Nose : Smoky baby puke - yes really - not pleasant at all. A little like Frazzles smokey bacon crisps?
Palate : Sweet honey on the palate with a little smoke - very drying.
Finish : Medium length smoky finish
Overall : Peated to 45ppm but it's not a touch on a decent Islay - just has the wrong find of "smokey" aroma.
Link : Smokey

Overall : I liked the original - a nice simple dram - typical bourbon cask vanilla and a little honey, the Smokey on the other hand just didn't do it for me - the nose was very strange and the indifferent finish just didn't cut it - give me an Islay dram instead. maybe it's the youthful NAS that's giving the strangeness and a few more years in the cask might help?
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