Sunday, 8 November 2015

The Whisky Exchange Single Cask Exclusives - English Whisky

Head Distiller David Fitt and Kat and the two Whisky Exchange Single Cask exclusives at the show
We caught up with The English Whisky Company's Head Distiller, David Fitt, at this year's Whisky Exchange Whisky Show, who as usual blew us away with their new releases (as well as a rather exciting 'under the counter' experiment). David took us through the new triple distilled Chapter 17, which we followed with the 2015 release of Chapter 10 before moving on to two single cask releases that he was immensely proud of.

Two casks personally chosen by Sukhinder Singh, founder of the Whisky Exchange, bottled as exclusive releases and launched at the show. We were mightily impressed with both of them on the day and were delighted to receive a pair of review samples a few days afterwards, to revisit them.

These are only available from The Whisky Exchange, and being single cask releases, only a limited number of bottles are available.

Two review samples at WDHQ  (no I didn't blend them into one glass)
Whisky Discovery #1438

English Whisky Classic a TWE Exclusive 53.4% abv
English Single Malt Whisky
£59.95 70cl only available from The Whisky Exchange
This Whisky Exchange exclusive release from The English Whisky Company is one of their favourites that they've produced. Soft and fruity, despite being bottled at cask strength, it's a perfect example of how great whisky from the distillery is.

The specially commissioned packaging features a red telephone box which has been a feature on the streets of England since 1926, becoming an iconic sight across the country. As time has moved on, most of them have vanished, with the few remaining saved for posterity through private ownership.

Just 270 bottles were filled

So What Did I Think?
Nose: A gorgeous soft candy nose. There's dusted milk bottle sweets, candied lemons and shortbread biscuit. These biscuit and lemon notes in time give lemon drizzle cake notes while floral notes bring up the backdrop
Taste: A very creamy mouth feel and again reminding me of milk bottle sweets. There's vanilla creams, the biscuit notes coming through before the peppery spices push through and hints of pencil shavings
Finish: Vanilla ice cream with a hint of chilli comes in right at the end

Whisky Discovery #1439

English Whisky Peated TWE Exclusive 53.4% abv
English Single Malt Whisky
£59.95 70cl only available from The Whisky Exchange
Only a small amount of the whisky produced at St George’s distillery is heavily peated, adding a thick layer of smoky flavour to their fruity spirit.

The telephone box theme is repeated, but in black. In the 1980s, a few of the UK’s red telephone boxes were painted black as the telecommunication industry moved into private ownership. While the iconic shape designed by Sir Giles Gilbert Scott did not change, these telephone boxes were stood in stark contrast to their red counterparts.

Just 290 bottles were filled

So What Did I Think?
Nose: My first impressions when revisiting this was Citrus peel and charcoal ash. The lemon peel notes coming across at toasted and a sweet smoke follows. There's even a 'beach feel' to this with sea spray and driftwood before some hedgerow fruits of blackberry and blackcurrants
Taste: A very chewy dram with a great mouth-feel which seems to thicken over time, with a liquorice sweetness, enriched with cloves while an underlying earthiness that slowly builds into the long peaty finish.
Finish: Long peaty earthiness, gentle smoke with just a hint of candied peel.

We're both big fans of English Whisky, it was the first ever distillery I'd visited and these two single cask releases are simply superb. At circa £60 each won't  break the bank either. If I had to pick a favourite and only had £60 to spend? I'd pick the peated cask, and then ask Kat to buy me the Classic cask for Christmas.

Slàinte! Dave