Based down in Norfolk, the English Whisky Co has been making ripples in single malt production as England’s primary whisky distillers. Their marketing from day one has been very clever as it invites people along the distillery’s own journey and development, by inviting drinkers to enjoy each “chapter” within their whisky making book. The Chapter 9 release is their second peated expression, and being such, their first readily available release (with the first one – Chapter 8 – having sold out pretty quickly!), which has been matured solely in ex-bourbon casks and has been bottled at 46% ABV.
M: Dry smoke. Pretty gentle, and ‘clean’ smoke, Bit of oak in there too. There’s a sweet, tingly smell there too, that reminds me of Parma Violets.
M: Really firey. Fresh. Young. Then, when you’ve got used to the booze, there is malt and caramel. After a bit of time and/or a bit of water it mellows to a smooth caramel flavour with a gentle smoky backbone. Like the tingly sweetness of “fruit” flavour sweets like love hearts. Just a touch of the Laphroaig medicinal/iodine about it.
M; Fantastic peat embers. That firey kick subsides and coats the throat with a silky sweet texture and a good smoky aftertaste. Great balance.
M: I’ve tried a few of the English Whisky Co’s chapters now but this is the first time I’ve tried a peated one and I like what I’ve tasted here! It’s not a smoky heavyweight but it’s far from being bantam! (I even found myself groaning at that one). Overall it is pretty light, refreshing and has that surprising characteristic of more-ish for a smoked whisky. My preference is usually to leave a smoky dram until the end of the night and just have the one, but this is one that I could definitely get back in the ring with for a second round. I’m not exactly getting “salty chips” like the Dram Team’s tasting notes though, but am happy to have another go.