After enthusing about getting try a whisky from India yesterday, I'm equally thrilled to be trying my first ever English whisky.
In many ways it's surprising that there aren't more English whisky producers, given how long we've been drinking whisky and how close we are to both the countries that claim to have invented the stuff. In fact, there was a history of English distilling, but by the beginning of the 20th century all the English stills had fallen silent and it's only been in the 21st that they've started up again.
More new producers are now starting to appear, but the English Whisky Company were among the first of the current generation of distillers.
English Whisky Company 5 Year Old Batch 1 is a golden coloured, 49.5% ABV dram (as well as being a mouthful!)
The nose is dried grass and pear drops; there's a hint of cold wood ash along with some damp wood, and a real butteriness. Watered, there's digestive biscuits and more old oak coming through as if you've just walked into an old country church.
In the mouth there is spiced apple and quite a bourbon-like grain character. With water, the fruit shifts to be more like a cold apple pie, with a lovely warming and almost rum-like spirit.
This is a fascinating whisky, a lot less scotch-like than I was expecting and very tasty. Given the very reasonable price point at under £40, it deserves 4 stars.
Many thanks to Master Of Malt for providing their That Boutique-y Whisky Company Advent Calendar this year.
This review was originally published 5th December, 2016. It was last updated 1st June, 2023.