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England The English Whisky & Co. Whisky from 0 to 50 euros

The English Smokey

Review of The English Smokey, (almost) 100% British peat.

Origin: England
Type: English Single Malt Whisky
Gradation: 43%ABV
Aging casks: Ex-Bourbon
Chillfiltered: No
Additional Coloring: No
Owner: The English Whisky Co.
Average price: € 45.00
Official website: www.englishwhisky.co.uk
Vote: 79/100

We leave windy Scotland once again and end up in perfidious Albion.
While Penderyn is beginning to gain a certain reputation for being proudly Welsh, the distilleries in England are few and far between, partly because independent bottlers or blenders are traditionally based here, and as producers they are more dedicated to gin than whisky.
Things are actually changing, with the emergence of distilleries such as The Lakes Distillery or the East London Liquor Company, or with new but established businesses such as Bimber, Cotswolds or the one that produces The English (which will have made considerable effort to find the name).

Proudly located in the heart of Norfolk, in Roudham, St George’s Distillery was founded by the Nelstrop family in early 2006, choosing this town for its proximity to the rich Breckland aquifer and the wide availability of local barley crops.
They were initially helped by Iain Henderson, a recently retired former Laphroaig Master D, in creating the first 29 casks of whisky. Henderson then retired for good, passing the baton to the current Master Distiller, David Fitt, who took over in 2008.
Their whiskies are unchillfiltered and caramel coloring, with both peated and unpeated versions, and they have a line in which they experiment with different cask finishes, with the Chapter heading in ascending numbers.
For this peated version, unlike the distillery’s others, they have used malt purchased from Scotland as they don’t have the possibility of carrying out the process locally.

Tasting notes

The (natural) colour is straw yellow, very light.
Peat is very present on the nose, without being pungent but rather sweet and soft. Vanilla, yellow fruit and plums blend well with the smokiness, with a very pleasant profile. There is also a certain biscuity quality, a sign of youth.
Despite its considerable strength (45 ppm), the peat remains gentle on the palate, perhaps a little disturbed by the alcohol which is more present than it should be (this whisky must be very young). Lots of plum and ripe fruit, anise, spices, a hint of pepper. A lively and cheerful profile, where the peat is more of a glue than a master, something you wouldn’t expect given the name (“smoky”). It improves as you let it breathe, with the alcohol retracting making the peat emerge more, even if it remains an unremarkable profile.
The finish is not very long, of ash and spices.

The youth betrays a too slim body in what could be an excellent whisky, with nothing to envy to some islanders.
Perhaps a more mature expression will be able to aim higher, the curiosity remains to try other British expressions.

Reviews of The English whisky in the blog:
Blackadder The English 5yo
The English Cabernet Sauvignon Wine Cask Matured
The English Fellowship Batch 06
The English Original
The English Virgin Oak Cask Small Batch Release

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