Whisky Learning: The formation of character

English whisky’s quest for identity
By Becky Paskin
April 23rd, 2020: St George’s Day. It was an unseasonably warm spring day in England as 16 burgeoning distillers logged into a historic Zoom call. No doubt every participant felt a sense of nervous anticipation, for this was the first meeting of English whisky producers in their collective mission to establish a formal, self-governed association, and a binding definition for the category.

Up until six years ago there was just one distillery in England regularly making whisky. “For a long time English whisky meant my whisky,” says Andrew Nelstrop, owner of the English Whisky Company, which began distilling at St. George’s distillery in Norfolk in 2006. “We were the only whisky company in England running a distillery dedicated to the art of whisky. Some 15 years later we are now joined by several new distilleries, and so English whisky has changed from being a single brand to a national industry.”

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