“Unique” drink produced in Norfolk
A Norfolk whisky distiller has produced yet another unique beverage, designed to appeal to those who may not enjoy a dram of the harder stuff.
The English Whisky Company, in Roudham, near Thetford, is already known for its whisky, but now a sherry-based mixture is set to hit the shelves in the new year for the first time in England.
St George's Pedro Ximenez is made with sherry which is taken in along with sherry casks usually used to mature the whisky, then fortified with English whisky before maturing it for an additional year.
Managing director Andrew Nelstrop said the effect is a 'sweet, rich and more-ish' taste.
'I think it's totally unique,' he said.
'Most people just empty the sherry and it gets tipped in the bin or poured into other casks. Most of it is used for seasoning casks rather than drinking and we thought if we used the good casks and good sherry we could bring it back.
'Forget your Gran's rank stuff, this is beautiful. There's a hint of whisky but not enough to put off anybody who doesn't like whisky.' The distillery is no stranger to innovation and was the first to start producing English whisky. The first 500 bottles of Chapter 6 single malt flew off the shelves of St George's Distillery at Roudham within three hours on December 16, 2009, and, since that seminal moment, the �1m distillery and tourist attraction has sold 60,000 bottles of its whisky, which has received rave reviews from experts.
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It made a special blend and decanter to mark the marriage of the Duke and Duchess of Cambridge earlier this year and has similar plans to produce a one-off whisky for the Queen's Diamond Jubilee next year.
It also produces a beer in conjunction with St Peter's brewery in Suffolk called The Saints Whisky Beer which is produced using the same peated malt that is used by the English Whisky Company.
St George's Pedro Ximenez is currently being sold for �20 exclusively through Bakers and Larners of Holt until the New Year, and through the distillery. It will be on general sale from January.
Mr Nelstrop added: 'It's not like whisky really - it's a totally mature product when we get it but we put it in a cask and get another level of taste which allows it to marry together.
'We're the only people in England to do this and I think in the world.'