The English Whisky Company has just released their chapter 13, a lightly-peated malt matured in Sassicaia casks (Sassicaia is a Bordeaux style red wine). Obviously not the slightest bit superstitious, St George’s has embraced the negative connotations with the number 13 by;
Pricing it at £66.60
Releasing it at 49% abv (4 + 9 = 13)
Releasing it on Friday 13th
I can’t think of another whisky which combines peat with Sauterne casks, ‘though BenRiach may have released something of this nature (I lose track). As usual, St George’s has surpassed itself. I was lucky enough to be the first person outside the distillery to taste this with my friend Karla Leal when we visited the distillery with a load of French Summer school students in August. ‘What do you think of this?’, asked David Fitt. ‘Wow, where can I buy a bottle?’, I replied. Reader, I bought one.
Nose: Dark chocolatey smoke and spice. Tinned lychees. Green apples and cream. Black licorice. Oranges in jelly.
Taste: More mouth-puckering spice but with a soft and rounded sweetness with a fruitbowl quality to it (nectarines??). A pronounced dry smokiness and a superb coconutty vanilla finish to it.
Verdict? A cracker. I could drink this until the cows come home. (note: I woke up several hours later with my living room full of Fresians.)