Boss makes England’s oldest whisky in lockdown with just three staff instead of 43
- Credit: Copyright: Archant 2020
The owner of a Norfolk firm has produced England’s oldest whisky – despite managing with few staff since lockdown.
Andrew Nelstrop, who runs the English Whisky Co in Roudham, near Thetford, opened in 2006 and has just launched an 11-year-old whisky that he started making almost from the start.
Being the first whisky firm to successfully operate in England, he’s managed to create the first ‘age statement’ tipple compared to his usual small batches which are typically six-10 years old.
Not only is it a first in England but the whisky, named The English-11 Yr, presented with a striking yellow label has a deeper, more smoky flavour because it’s been in its oak, bourbon casks, for longer.
But Mr Nelstrop, managing director, said to create a whisky which carries an age on the bottle means the flavour also needs to be more consistent than younger whiskies which tend to be sold with variations in flavour.
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And he’s also had to get the whisky bottled and labelled – with the first batch of just under 2,500 bottles – with only three staff compared to the usual workforce of 43, 40 of whom have been furloughed in lockdown. He’s had to streamline the business, with his distillery tours on hold because of coronavirus and his restaurant closed, although he has just reopened the shop for sale of whisky, which can be also bought online.
“We as a Norfolk company are making sure we stamp the box for producing the oldest whisky in England. You can taste the smokiness, it has an extra depth of flavour. It builds awareness and reminds people that we are here.
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“Small batch whisky tends to suit drinkers who want something slightly different each time whereas many want their favourite whisky to be the same the next time they buy it.”
Scotch whisky must be matured for a minimum of three years. If a bottle of whisky shows an age statement, for example ‘12 Years-Old’ it means that the youngest whisky in the bottle is at least 12 years old.
Grain whisky is most often used between three and five years old in blended whisky brands.
The English-Eleven Yr is for sale for £59.95 for a 70cl bottle.
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