Saturday, May 17, 2014

A fine glass of … English?

The New York Times has an article on a young whisky distillery, but not only is it not in Scotland, it's not even near the border. The English Whiskey Company isn't located in Northumberland at the border with Scotland, but far to the south in Norfolk, somewhat closer to Belgium than it is to Scotland.

Of course, the Scots don't have a monopoly on making whiskey. All you need is barley and water. The barley comes from a farm about 80 miles from the distillery, the water from a well on the property.

There are now four whisky distillers in England, compared to the more than 100 distillers in Scotland. And production is small, especially compared to the 1.23 billion bottles of Scotch whiskey that leave the British Isles annually. The English Whisky Company makes about 60,000 bottles per year. In the nineteenth century, there were also four distilleries in England, but their output was much higher.
In a book published in 1887, “The Whisky Distilleries of the United Kingdom,” Alfred Barnard noted that the Bristol Distillery, with its annual output of 637,068 gallons, even sent spirit to Scotland and Ireland for whisky making.
Given the newness of this distillery, they still haven't managed to age anything for 10 years. They haven't been making whisky long enough. Still, let us raise a glass to this new venture in whisky.

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