St. Georges Distillery, the home English Whisky
Alfred Barnard's book "The Whisky Distilleries of the United Kingdom", published in 1887, lists at least four working distilleries in England during the late 19th century. Although we don't know too much about them we can be certain that since the last one closed - sometime around the late eighteen, or early nineteen, hundreds - no whisky was legally produced in England until 2006 when St Georges Distillery became operational.
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St Georges Distillery - home of the English Whisky Company - is located in a remote part of East Anglia, surrounded by meadows and streams.
Norfolk has a high concentration of breweries - due in part to the plentiful supply of barley and malting houses. In fact Norfolk produces a large proportion of the malted barley used in Scotch whisky production. A great many of these breweries are small scale micro-breweries and so it was with this in mind that the Nelstrop family - local farmers - conceived the idea of setting up a small distillery.
About the film
In our filmed interview Andrew Nelstrop explains how things didn't quite go according to plan. The reality of setting up a distillery in England requires you to be quite a bit more ambitious than you might initially have intended. With the help of Iain Henderson - who had distilled for many years at Laphroaig - and the Scottish distillery equipment manufacturer Forsyths, the Nelstrop family were able to achieve their dream of setting up the first legal working distillery in England for over one hundred years.
Norfolk produces a large proportion of the malted barley used in Scotch whisky production
With Iain Henderson close to retirement, the final piece of the jigsaw was enlisting the help of David Fitt - an experienced local brewer - to bring some local knowledge and brewing knowhow to the distillery - helping to give St Georges distillery's output it's own unique character. As a result the English Whisky Company has become a talking point for whisky fans around the world. Their young whiskies are garnering quite a reputation and, as the warehouse stock matures, the future of English whisky looks bright.
What the community says about English Whisky
@WTC on Chapter 10 Sherry Cask
Nose: Sharp and quite vinegary at first. Intense and autumnal. But it softens with time.
Palate: full and rich drying sherry, with dried berries, currants and prune. The fullest flavoured English whisky so far.
Finish: dried fruit and liquorice stick. Burnt treacle. Medium long but longest finish from this distillery so far. Still obviously young, but delightful and striding forwards. Onwards and upwards…
@OJK on Chapter 9
Very fragrant, aromas leaping out of the glass with ease, as one would expect from such a young whisky.
As we take a first bite of this intriguing dish, the volume of flavour dampens somewhat on the palate, however it remains very light, nimble and dynamic in its delivery.
A very delicate and rewarding dram, and at only three years of one can only be impressed.
@markjedi1 on Chapter 6
It smells fresh and fruity, slighty reminiscent of plums. And baby cookies like Vitabis (not sure if you are familiar with that brand - it's the one parents use to mix in the baby's first fruit meals).
It tastes rather 'hard', probably because of the young age. The cereal is back, but less pronounced than on the nose.