I could start off this post by exclaiming: “The British are coming! The British are coming!”
Or worse (and this would be really bad), I could wax on about the British Invasion and make references to Herman’s Hermits dramlaxing with ‘Enry the Eighth or The Kinks rocking out with The Village Dram Preservation
Society or The Beatles Sgt. Pepper’s Lonely Heart Club Dram…
Heck, if I wanted to I could post this Monty Python bit about Kamikaze Scotsman… if I wanted to:
However, I’m not going to do any of that. Wouldn’t even consider it!
There is a lot to cover in this post so I am going straight to the two whisky reviews.
Both whiskies are bottled at 46% ABV and non-chill filtered and can be found for around $69/bottle here in the USA.
Note that these bottlings are USA specific and have a slightly different make-up as compared to the UK or EU versions. These whiskies have both been matured in both new oak and ex-bourbon casks. The new wood cask usage is specific to the US market.
English Whisky Company “Classic” non-peated – 46% ABV
On the nose – A slightly pungent start on the nose however it’s balanced quite nicely with hints of pear drops and a slight spicy/spiced edge.
Damp dish towels are in here but it’s also bit like a banana split with, well, bananas, vanilla bean ice cream, the smell of nitrous from the whipped cream dispensing bottle and slight, distant notes of salted almond. A vegetal quality as well that reminds me of milk thistle.
On the mouth – Ab-fab mouthfeel. Attention whisky producers – this is the oily mouthfeel you want to target for your bottlings. For realz.
The spicy element really comes through. It’s a most welcome element that creates a nice frame for the fine and malty backbone. Some light fruits in here as well as hints of wild flowers. This is a really delicate and soft whisky.
Finish – A nice long and drying finish.
In sum – This whisky is nice, delicate and understated. However, there’s a spicy edge to it that is so very interesting…. Oddly enough, I see myself bundling up by a fire and drinking this one. So, I’d say this is a fine winter-time dram.
English Whisky Company Peated – 46% ABV
On the nose – Soft peat and again, floral, like I got with on the “Classic” version. An absolute joy that is somewhat reminiscent of the Octomore Comus when I nose it. Salty and oh, so biscuity on the nose. Anise seed or black licorice and touches of plums.
After a few minutes, the spice really shines through.
On the mouth – A nice mouthfeel but not as oily as the sample of the “Classic” I have. Very malty and salty with a good deal of smoke at the back of the tongue. Salty, spicy, subtle fruits and more flowers for you.
Amazing that behind all of the spice, salt and malt that the delicate character of the spirit shines through.
Finish – Soft, drying and hints of chocolate and chicory (unexpected).
In sum – If I had my choice, as nice as the peated is, the “Classic” is so well done that I’d reach for that. Actually, I’d reach for it anytime now that I think about it (and have a sip of it again). Dare I say, the “Classic” is an everyday dram? Yes, yes it is. Yum!
Special thanks to RS and Purple Valley Imports for the official samples!