Today is St. George’s Day – the national saint day for England – and as such, for the last few years, I have looked to post about an English whisky. In 2022, there is a fairly major landmark occurring: the Platinum Jubilee. This week Queen Elizabeth turned 96, and HRH has now reigned for 70 years as monarch. We are a couple of weeks away from international celebrations of that milestone, and therefore for this post, I have dug out a sample of an English whisky from the previous milestone.
Here, I am looking at The English Whisky Company’s 2012 one-off bottling to celebrate the Queen’s 60th year on the throne, i.e. the Diamond Jubilee. This whisky was released in a commemorative engraved decanter – usually reserved by the EWC for their more opulent and/or higher ABV whiskies – at a limited run of 1,140 bottles.
There is little information about the whisky itself, other than it was bottled at 46% ABV with no age statement, picked from their “finest oak casks”. Each bottle was available at the time for (a noteworthy) £60 each.
A gentle, warming, and malty start. Lots of comforting smells, like warm apple crumble and vanilla fudge. Breaking that down, it has a combo of oats, baked apples, and vanilla custard upfront with some sweet cinnamon spice in the background. Maybe even some caramel or white chocolate flavours in there too.
The spicy notes really fire up quite quickly on this one, bringing a cracked pepper heat and some hot cinnamon, cardamom, and clove flavours. The sweeter orchard fruit flavours from the nose are still there (apples and pears) and a soft vanilla/creamy flavour comes too as the whisky glides across the tongue, but the tables have turned and it is all about the spice now.
Pretty long and tingly with that white pepper heat fizzling away well after the liquid has gone.
A whisky of two halves. The nose seemed all sweetness and light with a hint of spice, but the palate switched things around and brought spice and heat in spades. To me, that didn’t quite strike the right balance. I would have liked to appreciate those more comforting sweeter and autumnal flavours more on the palate, rather than being dominated by spice, but each unto their own.
As a commemorative piece I’m sure that fans of the House of Windsor would happily have this adorn their cabinets and maybe break it out during various royal events and milestones, or just leave it aside for safe keeping either as a mark of respect or in hope that it might fetch a pretty penny in the future.
For me, this was another venture in to the English Whisky Co and another example of where they are/were on their journey. A quick look at their site and the Platinum Jubilee bottling is already available (RRP £75), but again without age statement or much information about the choice of cask or maturation. It would be really interesting to taste them side by side – maybe with larger measures – to see how they compare and discover what difference another ten years of malt-making has made to their output. With time, they have been getting better and better.
Sample Disclosure: This sample was received as part of a paid subscription to The Dram Team. All notes are intended as an honest, fair and independent review of the whisky itself and not a promotion. Please drink responsibly. Please drink wisely.