On my travels I sometimes come across the more localised distilleries, exhibiting themselves to consumers through markets and festivals, and being incredibly hands on to really market their range. Once such name that I’ve seen a fair bit of is the English Spirit Distillery. Over the last few months, I’ve been winding my way through their range of whisky, vodka, liqueurs and gin, writing tasting notes down in between sips and experiences. Now, I believe it is time to share, so follow me on a journey to the English countryside . . . .
The English Spirit Distillery is located within the village of Dullingham, Cambridgeshire, close to Newmarket. Using copper pot stills, the team produce small batch, seasonal produce and cover a wide range of categories.
But what is their range? Well below, I give to you the tasting notes of my experiences so far –
English Spirit Vodka – 54%
A sugar beet concentrated mash, distilled in a single step in a 200 litre copper pot still.
Very smooth on the nose and carries onto the palate where a slight sweetness mixes with butter. Creates a lingering finish.
Fresh with aromas of light toffee and butter blending. Slightly sweet on the palate, with a light, buttery texture creating a short and slightly dry finish.
Dr J’s Gin – 45%
English Spirit Distillery is currently only one of three distilleries in the UK that make gin from scratch i.e. that make the vodka that is needed to begin the gin distillation. English Spirit is put within a 200 litre copper pot still. Juniper berries and five varieties of coriander and crushed macadamia nuts are thrown in and heated up. Over the course of this, fresh zests and other secret botanicals are inserted.
Very aromatic on the nose, with fresh coriander dominating. A slight spice on the palate, with a sweetness developing, alongside a warmth that offer a long, dry finish. A slight cocoa aroma to the end too.
Old Salt Rum – 42%
The only rum currently fermented and distilled in the UK, and named after the distillery venue.
Light caramel on the nose with hint of salt. Follows onto the palate, with a light caramel and vanilla mix which develops a warm, long, dry finish.
Spiced Old Salt Rum – 42%
Old Salt rum infused with raisins, vanilla pods and spices.
Very smooth with a dry spice on the nose. Spice mixes with toffee to offer a slightly dry finish.
Using only English malted barley.
Light vanilla notes on the nose, with a spice offering coming through on the palate. Light on the finish, very smooth with a viscus honey texture.
Raspberry Liqueur – 25%
Light raspberry on the nose, with a rather bold finish. Very smooth on the palate, a velvet texture, but becoming a little dry and tart on the long finish.
English Sambuca – 42%
Re-distilled English Spirit with star anise and combine with English elderflower eau die vie and sugar from sugar beet to make the only English Sambuca.
Fresh, bold anise on the nose, but carries no harsh or bitterness on the palate. A sharp, aromatic anise hit arrives to create a long, mouthwatering finish.
Apple Brandy – 42%
Light with sweetness developing a bold finish on the nose. Very light on the palate to begin with, with a sharp, powerful hit following. Plenty of stewed apple flavours.
Not a bad range at all, and I can see why the stand always looks empty at the end of each festival! A lot of different and unique products to try, and expressions like the Old Salt rum, which just won the award for ‘Best Rum’ at the Hong Kong rum festival, are a rare treat. A couple for your drinks cabinet for sure.
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