Whisky Focus - The English Virgin Oak Review

The English Virgin Oak Batch No. 1 Review

17th April 2019
Review of The English Virgin Oak limited release whisky from the St. Georges distillery in Norfolk.

The English Virgin Oak Batch No 1The English Virgin Oak is the latest expression from St. George's Distillery down in Norfolk.

Released at the beginning of this month and as you can probably guess from its title it has been 100% matured in Virgin Oak casks, a limited release from their Small Batch Range, there are only 2689 bottles of this first batch of The English Virgin Oak available worldwide.

Distilled in July 2013, it has matured in Virgin Oak casks laid down at St George’s Distillery in Roudham, Norfolk before being bottled in March 2019. The English Virgin Oak has spent the last six years maturing, and as you would expect it borrows heavily from the casks that held it.

Andrew Nelstrop, Owner of The English Whisky Co., commented on the new Virgin Oak expression, saying:  "What started off as an experiment has turned out to be a winner. We are really thrilled with this single malt whisky. The whisky is rich and oily with hints of honey, toffee and chocolate; a taste of chocolate and cloves lingers on the palate. What is there not to like?"

William Morrison's Tasting Notes::

Nose: Just a touch of sweet vanilla fudge, a little orange citrus and fresh pear, coconut and some gentle oak spice.

Taste: Zesty orange infused vanilla leads the charge but is quickly overtaken by some lovely barley sugared oak spice with the slightest liquorice edge.

Finish: Refreshingly long and vibrant. The vanilla has become honeyed, some milk chocolate, a candied fruitiness, the delicious virgin oak spice comes more to the fore and pleasures every corner of the palate.

Comment: It has been a while since I have had anything new from St. Georges Distillery down in Norfolk and going by the quality of The English Virgin Oak expression I think I should be paying more attention to what they are turning out down there as this really is a high quality dram, yes it is youngish but that's part of what makes it as good as it is, that combined with the quality of spirit and cask selection which they are employing down there. I can highly recommend this one, a great example of of what good virgin oak casks can do for some quality spirit in such a short time, a pleasure.

SMW Score 89/100

The English Virgin Oak is bottled at 46% ABVis priced around £52 and is now available from specialist online whisky retailers such as The Whisky Exchange and Master of Malt

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