There is an absolutely huge kerfuffle going on in the mainstream press at the moment about the hot new release of the first English whisky in over 100 years from St George’s distillery in Norfolk…
We visited the distillery in September and met with Managing Director Andrew Nelstrop. We’ve got a few juicy exclusives, photos and insights to share with you lucky, lucky people.
The Distillery and visitors centre. The still room is behind the large window facing the front on the first floor.
We’ll start by saying first and foremost that we absolutely adored the spirits we tasted – the complexity and depth of flavour found in the samples we tried with Andrew were stunning, and the dedication to excellence displayed at every step of the distillation and maturation processes were truly a delight to see. These guys are doing it properly.
The distillery is located in a picturesque village just outside Norwich, and on pulling up to the entrance, we thought we were looking at a rather nice country home rather than a working distillery. It would doubtless have been incredibly easy (not to mention cheap) More…
Islay isn’t a very large island, in fact it only takes up a couple of hundred square miles. But somehow this mysterious, peat-laden isle is home to some of the most popular, colossal distilleries in Scotland.
Now the whisky world is buzzing with excitement, as a new, artisan distillery has begun producing single malt. Peaty, pungent and characterful single malt no less.
The distillery is Kilchoman, sited on a small farmstead to the West of Islay. It’s a small and traditional distillery, sourcing its ingredients from the surrounding countryside. It even boasts its own malting floors.
After being entirely stunned by the exceptional inaugural release, we couldn’t wait for what lay in store.
So then – Jim Murray’s 2010 World Whisky of the Year – the Sazerac Rye (fall 2008 edition) has been replaced by the all-new new fall 2009 edition, and it’s an absolute belter.
As far as we know, at the time of writing this post, we’re the only retailer in the UK to be offering this for sale – and there are only limited quantities available.
The delivery arrived at 09:30, and before the pallet was even off the lorry, a bottle had been snaffled, opened, and was in the process of being tasted. Here are the results:
Sazerac Rye 18 Year Old Fall 2009 Edition 45%
Nose: Huge and powerful sweet rye on the initial nosing gives way to cinnamon toasted brioche, leather, and more than a hint of maraschino cherry. A really huge hit of oak follows, somewhat vinous with it – we were reminded of a barrique aged chardonnay. There’s something slightly medicinal lurking somewhere – a hint of iodine perhaps? It’s definitely not out of place amongst the other huge aromas given off by this whiskey though. A slight suggestion of coconut right at the tail end.
It’s a bit like Christmas at MoM towers today, albeit with fewer board-games and no crap jokes (well, maybe just a few). A very exciting package has turned up from the smashing folks at the ‘Number one drinks company’. It’s their newest selection of cask bottlings, and some sneak previews of the very exciting new malts from Chichibu.
All of these bottlings are currently on a cargo ship from Japan, and should be available in the next two months, keep watching – we’ll get them up as soon as they’re in.
So – enough with the pre-amble and onto the malts. First up, we’ve got 3 single cask bottlings from (the now closed) Hanyu and the sublime Karuizawa distilleries: