The English Whisky Company, based at St George's Distillery in Norfolk, has released a new range of single grain whiskies, celebrating what it calls, 'the uniqueness of Norfolk.'
The distiller has officially launched The Norfolk brand with the release of Malt ‘n’ Rye, a single grain whisky made with malted barley and rye, and matured in bourbon casks.
Limited to just 1,962 bottles worldwide, Malt ‘n’ Rye is one of three single grain whiskies in the range, alongside Farmers and the yet-to-be-released Parched.
English Whisky Co owner and Norfolk farmer Andrew Nelstrop says: “Over the years the range of products we have made at St George’s Distillery have put English whisky firmly in the spotlight – and now it’s time to celebrate the fact they have all been made in Norfolk and put it firmly on the whisky map.
“This range of whiskies celebrates the county and its characteristics – a beautiful, well-kept secret, which is gloriously different, with unique flavours.
“These whiskies use more than just malted barley and, as they are a very different whisky to the single malts, it made perfect sense to launch them as The Norfolk brand.”
The official launch comes after a soft launch in autumn 2016 when Farmers was released to a small group of enthusiasts to gauge their thoughts.
Nelstrop adds: “We had some wonderful feedback and the decision was made to launch the range to all. This current batch is made using malted barley and malted rye – hence the name. The resulting whisky is beautifully rich in colour, giving a wonderful mouth full of flavours."
The Norfolk brand’s bottle labels all feature a cat sporting a monocle and a bowler hat, designed by label designer Craig Mackinlay at Breeze Creative.
Nelstrop explains: “The bowler hat was invented by Holkham Estate as a hard hat for its game keepers and was originally known as the Coke hat. If you go to Lock & Co in St James’s Street in London today to buy a bowler you will still be sold a Coke hat instead – hence the cat wearing the bowler hat. It’s a truly Norfolk invention."
The new release is available for £49.00 (50cl) at 45% ABV, from online retailers.
27 March 2017 - Sam Coyne The Drinks Report, news editor