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English Single Malt Whisky

Looking at the ever-expanding English whisky scene, it’s hard to imagine that the first contemporary English single malt was released as recently as 2009 by The English Whisky Company (previously known as St. George’s Distillery) in Norfolk. Now there are producers all over the country from Copper Rivet in Kent to the Lakes Distillery in Cumbria. Not forgetting the biggest of them all, the Cotswolds Distillery which was founded in 2013. Most of the production is single malt, ie. made entirely from malted barley from a single distillery. Largely production methods mirror those in Scotland with a minimum three year ageing period but with a few differences. Firstly, a greater variety of casks including non-oak ones are permissible and secondly whiskies labelled as ‘single malts’ can be made in column as well as pot stills. Also distilleries south of the border are more likely to use locally-grown grain to make their single malt whiskies than the larger industry in Scotland. Finally the warm climate in England means that whiskies mature faster than in colder climates to the north.

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