Thursday, 30 May 2013

God for Harry! England and Saint George! - English Whisky Co. Chapter 9

I'm sure we've made it clear that it's English Wine Week, but guessing that the others would take care of the grapes, I decided to take my own patriotic tact with an English whisky. In choosing my whisky there was not a great deal of choice in producers unfortunately: there's The English Whisky Co., Hicks and Healey and that's... well, that's pretty much it. Deciding that I didn't want to spend £175 on a bottle of whisky my eyes fell on the St.George distillery.

The St. George distillery - which first began producing in 2006 - was started by the Nelstrop family who have a heritage of farming grain for over 600 years. The production of whisky was actually the idea of the founder's father who had dreamed of setting up a distillery, yet following his death James Nelstrop decided that it would have to be a project for him and his son Andrew. They are now churning out 150,000 bottles a year with Chapter 9 being one in a now extensive range.

The nose is really big, busty and quite intriguing  it is peaty and smokey with an almost medicinal alcohol kick to it. There's also some fruit and other sweetness in there in the background with the medicinal note almost forming itself into a more salty, coastal aroma. The nose is fascinating, different to most others I've tried, but it really puts me in the mood for some of the other peatier whiskies... watch this space.

On the palate the Chapter 9 is sweet with a creamy, sugary flavour with vanilla in there. There is the smoke coming through from the peat along with a nice amount of spice. This isn't as soft and mellow as some other drams with some lovely warming heat, this appears to be made for those Norfolk winters.

This is a nice whisky, not the best one I've ever tried, but I have to say it's really very good considering it has only been aged for 3 years, I'm really looking forward to what might be coming out in the next 5 years or so.

English whisky still has a long way to go, however as the popularity of whisky continues to grow I can definitely see more English distilleries opening.

I think a major stumbling issue is that there is a certain period required for whisky to age, therefore costing more to start up when compared with gin or vodka for example. I imagine that in the coming years investor confidence in whisky distilleries will grow with The English Whisky Co. looking to be a massive success just a few years on from it's founding.

Pick up a bottle of Chapter 9 from the English Whisky Co's page for £39.99* or from Master of Malt at £42.45*.

*We updated these prices to their current rate in May 2015. 

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