Category Archives: English

Adnams Triple Grain No2

Distillery: Adnams
Name: Triple Grain No2
Region: England
Age: 3
Chill-filtered: No
Strength: 43%
Batch No.: N/A
Bottle Size: 70cl
Price: £44
Nose: Charred wood, citrus, spicy, sugared almonds
Taste: Charred wood, dark chocolate, smooth, spice, honey
Finish: Long, warm, spicy
Rating: 4/10

Before I started spending my spare time on Twitter, learning about the goings on in the whisky industry, I happened to stumble upon the Adnams website, where I learned they were to be launching their first whiskies in just a matter of months. As I’m sure you can imagine, this got me all excited, after all I love trying new whiskies and the thought of another English whisky hitting the market got me thinking where this whisky boom would take us next.

I signed up to be notified as soon as they were available and was pleasantly surprised about a month after to be invited to the opening day. Now with Adnams being based in Southwold, it is not exactly close, about 450 mile round trip to be exact, but I thought what the hell, why not make a bit of a holiday of it, so booked a B&B and put my name down.

So down (and over) I went to try both the Triple Grain No2 (wheat, barley and oats) and the Single Malt No1, as well as a selection of other goodies they had open such as their gins (very nice also). The Single Malt No1 was as expected, too young with not enough going on to be honest, the Triple Grain No2 however was better, hence I bought a bottle (signed by Mr Jonathan Adnams and the Master Distiller John McCarthy).

On the nose you get a strong charred/toasted wood note which is lighted however by the citrus aroma. There is also a sweetness there but more of a sugary sweetness rather than a honey one, reminds me of sugared almonds. Added to this is a lovely spice, not too much but it is present throughout the length of the nose.

The palate still holds onto the charred wood notes but also with a real sense of dark chocolate, something like a 50% cocoa as it has some smoothness there also. The spice remains but again is well balanced and some sweetness comes through also, but unlike the nose it is more of a honey sweetness. The finish is long, strong, warm and spicy.

I have heard a few people give the Triple Grain a bit of a hard time and I think it is unjust. It is a young spirit and I think they have done very well to get such a powerful flavour in just 3 years. I actually see it more of a Bourbon alternative rather than a single malt alternative, and maybe if more people thought this way it would have a better following.

St. George’s Chapter 6

Distillery: St. George’s
Name: Chapter 6
Region: Norfolk
Age: Minimum 3 years
Chill-filtered: No
Strength: 46%
Batch No.: 489
Bottle Size: 20cl
Price: £20
Colour: Light
Nose: Light, crisp, slight sweetness
Taste: Crisp, very light, slight sweetness
Finish: Very short, slightly dryness
Rating: 4/10
St George's Chapter 6

After trying the Chapter 11, I fancied giving the Chapter 6 ago to see what the non-peated variety was like from St George’s. It is again young of course, with a ‘minimum 3 years’ age statement, and being matured in a bourbon cask for this short period, it is also very light in colour. You can pick out some of the sweetness on the nose, nothing too strong but this does not really carry on to the palate or finish. If I am honest there is not really anything that stands out on the palate other than a slight sweetness, it’s pleasant enough just not exciting. There is a slight youthful note that appears at the back of the throat as you swallow but then goes into a very short and slightly dry finish.

The addition of a small amount of water helps due to the 46%, it opens the nose a little and brings out a little more flavour, be careful how much you use though, this whisky is very delicate so could easily be ruined with the addition of too much water. I would also recommend leaving to air for a while, it really helps bring some of the more subtle flavours through.

Compared the the Chapter 11 I was a little disappointed with this one to be honest, especially given the similar/same ageing; that is not to say that it is bad though, especially considering it’s youth. It is still an easy drinking whisky, and again I believe it would go well with greasy food as it would cut through the grease quite well. I have to be honest, after trying both the Chapter 6 and 11, I am really looking forward to trying St George’s whiskies in 10 years times, I believe they will be releasing some really special whiskies then, only hope I can afford them.

Notes

Distilled by: David Fitt
Cask Type: ASB 1st fill
Distilled: August 2008
Bottled: June 2012

St. George’s Chapter 11

Distillery: St. George’s
Name: Chapter 11
Region: Norfolk
Age: Minimum 3 years
Chill-filtered: No
Strength: 46%
Batch No.: 639, 640, 641, 642
Colour: Light
Nose: Lightly peaty, light fruits, crisp
Taste: Lightly peaty, light, crisp, clean
Finish: Short, dry
Rating: 6/10
St George's Chapter 11

Well I had idea what to expect of the Chapter 11 from St. George’s distillery, branded as The English Whisky Co. After all it is a very young whisky with the statement made of a minimum of 3 years old, no maximum age stated though. Being so young and coming from ex American Bourbon casks, it is very light in colour as you may expect. St. George’s have the peated and non-peated range, Chapter 11 falls into their peated range, which is accomplished by the use of heavily smoked barley.

It is nice to see that the whiskies are released at a healthy 46%, non chill-filtered and at natural colour, no attempts to cover the youth of the whisky. Speaking of which, surprise would be a good description of my first impression; I have to be honest I was expecting something a little on the rough side, but was pleasantly surprised to find that it is in fact fairly smooth, it even carries the 46% very well, only really noticeable on the finish.

It is not a complex whisky but it is a very light, crisp and easy drinking one that would be good for cleaning the palate after a greasy meal such as a Chinese. The addition of a small amount of water opens the nose up a little, bringing out those light fruity notes, making it a little sweeter on the nose. The palate is not really affected by the water, nor is the finish apart from smoothing it a little. It is sold as heavily peated / smokey; as a fan of heavily peaty whiskies I would not say heavy, peaty yes, so if you really dislike peaty whiskies then it is probably not for you, but don’t expect a Laphroaig or Ardbeg.

The Chapter 11 was not what I would class as cheap for such a young whisky, costing £41, so if you are on a budget then there are better out there. The reason I bought a bottle though was to help to support the up and coming English whisky industry. It can’t be an easy task starting a new distillery and competing against the big boys, so they need all the help they can get. Expensive yes, I would say something around the £30 mark would get a lot more people trying it, but I see why they price it as they do, you still get a very nice whisky at the end of the day.

Notes

Distilled by David Fitt
Cask Type ASB (if anyone knows what this means please let me know)
Distilled March 2008
Bottled November 2011