Between the Brexit bungle and Piers Morgan, lately it seems England can’t do anything right. A resurgent whiskey industry is bucking the trend. The Spirits Business reminds us that Old Blighty shut all of its first wave of distilleries by early last century, having taken an arse-kicking from the Scots for a change. We’ll drink to that.
Not much to sip here yet, move along
But like Oliver Reed after a two-day bender, the biz has pulled itself together again. The past 15 years have seen new players such as Norfolk’s English Whisky Co., which launched in 2006, open their doors. This being the Land of Hope and Glory, its St. George’s Distillery serves afternoon tea. The English’s Original, a 43% ABV single-malt aged in bourbon casks, won gold in the Other Whiskey category at the 2017 San Francisco World Spirits Competition.
OK, but does anyone give a toss? Owing to the revived industry’s youth, there’s little whiskey to be had, and English distillers must compete against Ireland, Japan, Scotland and the U.S. Looking on the bright side of life, lax regulation sets them free to experiment by doing things like age their product in chestnut and mulberry wood. Smashing.