Truth be told I’ve yet to be swayed by a release from the English Whisky Company. Founded in 2006 it should by now be releasing some standout whiskies given some of the experiences we’ve had here on Malt from our European cousins. Across Europe, distilleries are releasing whiskies less than a decade old that offer flavour and an experience. It’s time England stepped up.
My esteemed co-editor actually referred to the English Whisky Company as the Jura of the south. This depending on your point of view is high praise or more likely a bottle of bitter disappointment. I’m with the latter however I will admit its been a while since I’ve engaged with any whisky from this distillery. What with the excellent debut from the Cotswold distillery already receiving plaudits and other distilleries incoming, it’s an exciting time for whisky. Yet more than ever before, consumers have a wealth of choice and reasonable information – only the whiskies that offer value and quality will survive the next bust.
Situated in Norfolk, the St George distillery is like so many others ideally placed to take advantage of the local barley crop and water, which they suggest are 2 main ingredients for whisky. No mention of the yeast but then that usual line about the finest casks crops up on the official page. Ah yes, I’m still searching for that distillery that utilises the average or substandard cask. None of this only the finest lark. I reckon Jura, Fettercairn and Tomintoul account for at least some of this missing inventory. However, we’ve become distracted let’s get back to the whisky in hand.
When Dave from That Boutique-y Whisky Company Whisky Company dropped me a message to say their latest English Whisky Company release was on its way along with potential greatness in the Tormore Batch 3. I immediately thought of a doubleheader – England vs Scotland – for an interesting angle. Potentially this would be the only reasonable match up given the opening performance from the Scottish rugby team. For our Stateside friends reading this rugby is a tough sport where padding or helmets are not required. Given the real match clashes with the Glasgow Rare & Old Whisky Show, it’s probably a good thing I’ll be surrounded by exotic whiskies far away from a television set.
We’ve jumped up from the Boutique-y Batch 1 release which is 5 years old and still available for £39.95 to an 8 year old for the Batch 2. Priced slightly more at £48.95, it’s an outturn of 845 bottles at a strength of 52.3% and seems to be going down well with some. However, we’re Malt and we do things our own way and shut ourselves in our whisky dens and dive into the liquid depths devoid of any influence…
English Whisky Company 8 year old Batch 2 – review
Colour: gold leaf
On the nose: quite fruity but with a slant on the greenness with apples, Kiwi fruit and mangos. A buttery note coming through now as well, followed by freshly popped popcorn. There a touch of smoke deep down rounded off by vanilla custard. Returning for another dram the sweetness of white chocolate and butterscotch is noticeable.
In the mouth: a little more charcoal than smoke, a dirty vanilla and almost a cheesy cracker element to proceedings. Lemon sponge cake and somewhere the fruit aspect is fighting for recognition. Towards the finish there’s golden syrup and a slight metallic note which I enjoy followed by a touch of heat.
A surprisingly strong performance from the English Whisky Company. I might not have tasted many of their whiskies lately, but this one is certainly the pick of the bunch. Perhaps finally it’s coming of age? At the least a solid cask choice from Boutique-y.
My thanks to the Boutique-y Whisky Company for the sample and photograph
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