The English Whisky Company Tweet Taste

The English Whisky Company Tweet Taste

On Wednesday we happily took part in the English Whisky Tweet Taste organised by Steve Rush, of TheWhiskyWire, and David Fitt, distiller and Distillery Operations Manager of The English Whisky Company.

The samples of the English Whisky selected by David Fitt

There was an air of mystery around this tweet taste as it was a blind tasting, and very little information had been given by David.  The bottles were numbered 1-4 and would be sampled in numerical order.  The identity and heritage of the whiskies would not be revealed until each had been tried and our collective verdicts given.  Great fun!

And so, this was all we knew;

Sample #1 – drawn directly from cask and reduced to 46% vol

Sample #2 – drawn directly from cask and reduced to 46% vol

Sample #3 – taken from a bottling run at a strength of 46% vol

Sample #4 = drawn directly from cask and is at cask strength of 61.7% vol

The intriguing samples had arrived well in advance of the Tweet Taste so we had to be very strong against all manner of temptation so not to have a wee snifter before the event. I am pleased to say, I was, and I am so glad I was because these whiskies were a celebration of all the great work going on in Norfolk at the English Whisky Co!

Sample #1- drawn directly from cask and reduced to 46% vol

Sample 1

The English Whisky Co began producing whisky in 2006, so it was clear that these whiskies would be young in age.  The first sample was very light in colour, with hardly any pigment, a light dry hay. On the nose I was imediatley hit with vanilla, pear drops and American cream soda. Lovely.  As it sat in my glass, a note of freshly cut grass wafted and I imagined the summer days sitting out in my parent’s garden enjoying a soda float. The mouth feel was very oily and this whisky gave a lovely coating.  On the palate there was more vanilla, but with a peppery bite which was very pleasing.  More bitter pear came out and then the biscuit barrel came forth; primarily custard cream and hobnobs!  The finish was mouth wateringly spicy, with vanilla and a lingering peppery heat.

Then David revealed…

This was a 5 year old single cask whisky drawn from a  first fill bourbon cask from Jim Beam, hence the American cream soda and vanilla that was so prevalent for me.  It was also revealed that this sample is from a realease of just 110 bottles.

A great start to the TT.  This is a fantastic whisky, with delightful vanilla and cream overtones which went down very well in the LivingRoom.  I was impressed by the complexity in such a young whisky, but the other samples beckoned me onwards…

Sample #2 – drawn directly from cask and reduced to 46% vol

Sample 2

The colour of #2 was very similar to the first; light hay or elderberry cordial.  On the nose was delicate peat , a breath of a dwindling fire and wood smoke. Then, as it opened up, some vanilla creaminess and bitter chocolate came through too.  This was warming in the mouth and the palate brought a gentle peatiness, fresh cut oak and toasted almondsCrab shell and then a waft of sweet tobacco smoke lead into a relaxed finish of sweet vanilla and gentle smoke.  A dram to lounge with.

Then David revealed…

This is a brand new whisky with little age. Drawn primarily from first fill Bourbon casks with some peated whisky from red burgundy wine casks.  This whisky will be for the Duty Free and American markets.  We were privaledged to be the first to taste it outside the distillery! Lucky us!

Although this didn’t prove to be my favourite of the evening, this is a great whisky, probably not for peat hounds though.  For me, with an eclectic taste, I could definielty imagine myself settling down with this dram on an Autumn evening, fire, and good book. Look out for this on your travels!

Sample #3 – taken from a bottling run at a strength of 46% vol

Sample 3

Very light in colour, barely any pigment, but… Wow! What a nose! All peat and smoke.  Beyond the initial hit of peat a subtle barley maltiness came through too, and back to the bicuit barrel; Malted Milk. There was a waft of a salty sea breeze, but then dry dusty hay, like walking in to a hay barn in summer.  There is also something metallic going on, tin perhaps.  The mouth feel was very smooth, with a peppery bite.  Smoke came though with a gentle earthy peatiness.  The oily pith and skin of a peeled orange and bitter coffee too.  The finish brought wood smoke of a dying fire.

The David revealed…

This is the heavily peated Chapter 11 at 55 ppm.  It has matured for 3 years in first fill Jim Beam Bourbon casks.   This is a punchy peated whisky, well balanced and worth a pop at £39.99 from English Whisky Co direct, although you will qualify for a 10% discount if you quote ‘EWCTT2012’ before June 5th!

Sample #4 = drawn directly from cask and is at cask strength of 61.7% vol

Sample 4

The last sample of the evening was hue of apple juice; the deepest tonight.  The nose is “Mmmmmm”.  It was sweet and sherried, or so we thought, with rich spices, fruit cake and fig rolls initially. It had a delicious nose, beautifully balanced.  There was a meaty richness, the oily flavour filled juices of a roasted beef joint; mouth watering. The palate was stunning, meaty, roast beef, black pudding giving way to rich sweet fruits, raisin, fig and there was a slight chili heat too. I loved it!  A heavy, rich Chirstmas Cake of a dram!

The David revealed…

There was NO sherry involved in the production of this dram!! A great surprise! In fact, this is a 4 1/2 year old heavily peated whisky at 61.7% matured entirely in a single Sauternes wine cask. And we were the first to try this outside of the distillery, another honour bestowed upon us!

This was my star dram of the night, although none of the whisky let me down at all! #4 was special though, I loved the balance of the sweet and savoury notes, the peat and smoke with the rich sweet fruit. It was delicious, and I could happily sip and sniff this one all night!

This was a fantastic evening, a wonderful whisky Wednesday! I was really impressed by the depth of flavour and balance in English Whisky’s relatively young collection.  It will be exciting to watch as these whiskies develop over the coming years under the expert palate of David Fitt and the rest of the EWC team.

My notes of the English Whisky Co Tweet Taste

Huge thanks to Steve Rush of the WhiskyWire for including us in this TweetTaste and a massive thank you to David Fitt for treating us to some rare and beautiful whisky!

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