The English Deliver(ance).

Taste Review #126 – The Original (English Whisky Co.)

What are the things you most associate with Norfolk? No hills, tons of tractors and combine harvesters holding up traffic, the Norfolk Broads and quite possibly inbreeding. You city slickers should watch Deliverance before you take a boat trip on the Broads! Have you ever heard the joke about how you know when you are at a Norfolk wedding? Both families are at the same side of the church.

If you hear somebody say that you’ve got a pretty mouth, then run!

Of course, I jest, and I think that I’m entitled to, as my own father hails from a village on the Broads just outside Great Yarmouth, so I know the truth about the area. I hope I don’t need all 12 fingers to count how many people I’ve just potentially offended.

No, the one thing that you don’t really associate Norfolk with is whisky. This should change. England is starting to blossom with whisky distilleries and the first one I became aware of was the St Georges Distillery in Norfolk, located north east of Thetford. This was the first distillery to produce whisky in over 100 years in England. The distillery started production in 2006.

St Georges Distillery (Evelyn Simak)

The distillery while modern has been built in a building that is reminiscent of traditional agricultural style of East Anglia. It houses only two stills, which had to be at least 1800 litres in capacity due to constraints issued by custom and excise. This is larger than many stills at some of the smaller distilleries in Scotland.

When perusing for world whisky samples, this one came up. I’d already purchased a Bimber but I felt it important to try a whisky from the oldest whisky distillery currently operating in England.

The English – Original

Region – England Age – NAS Strength – 43% abv Colour – Old Gold (0.6) Cask Type – ex Bourbon Colouring – No Chill Filtered – No Nose – Light malt, grass, banana, mango, vanilla ice cream, hazelnut. Palate – a nice syrupy mouth feel. Sweet, malt, vanilla, orange, mango, nutmeg, light wood spices but nothing overpowering. Finish – medium but satisfying. Still a good mouthfeel, like after eating a chewy sweet. Nutty and fades into a milky chocolate orange.

The dram


Going to keep it short but sweet here. It’s a thumbs up. While I really liked this whisky, it was mainly for its easy going nature, sort of like a Broads cruise on a motorboat. I didn’t find it complex, but it was a pleasure to sip and relax with. The English distillery has certainly delivered here.

I would recommend and I’d probably buy if I saw it in a shop, but I feel this has mostly served it’s purpose as a gateway into the produce of the St George’s Distillery, therefore I’m likely to seek out the more sherried whiskies if I follow my usual form.

Yours In Spirits


Index of tastings here

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