Adnams previews its English whiskies

05 December, 2012

Adnams, best known as a regional English brewer, has previewed two English whiskies which will be launched next year in time for Christmas.

Adnams chairman Jonathan Adnams and distiller, John McCarthy, unveiled their Copper House Whisky Number One Single Malt English whisky and the Three Grain Whisky Number 2 (barley, wheat & oats) whisky, aged in new American oak barrels. Both at 43% abv, unfiltered, “just diluted” and are expected to retail next year for approximately £38.

McCarthy said the single malt whisky is made from 100% East Anglian barley and it is being aged in first fill French oak barrels. Adnams told Drinks International that while no name has been finalised for number two, “Tri or Triple Grain” are likeliest.

Held at the Adnams shop just off London’s Tottenham Court Road on December 5, Adnams also revealed that there are two other whiskies “down the tracks” ageing in the cellars at the companies base in Southwold, East Anglia. After No 1 and No 2 have been released, there will be a 100% rye whisky and a “Speyside style whisky aged in American, Jack Daniel’s barrels”. They are expected in 2014/15.

Adnams claims to be the first UK brewer that distils. There is an as yet unrepealed act of parliament that bans a brewer from brewing. Jonathan Adnams told DI that after discussions with HM Customs & Excise, he applied for a licence to distil. It came through without any problems and the company started making vodkas and gins.

Editors tasting notes:

While the whiskies are both young at just two years’ ageing, they were both smooth and well integrated. The Single Malt was sweet with mocha notes and quite floral with water. The No 2, Triple Grain, is creamy (from the oats) and more citrus – orange/marmalade. Adnams’ senior wine buyer detected “meadow grass” in No 2 Three or Triple Grain. Interesting.

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