Review: St George's Fine Single Malt M&S Exclusive


This bottle from St. George's distillery is exclusively available in Marks & Spencer outlets, presumably offering its clientele the opportunity to buy English. Here at Whisky Rover I've previously reviewed several M&S releases of regional whisky but this edition remained firmly out of reach until Santa dropped it off last year.

It's been a big hit for the distillery and Marks & Spencer, whether it is the option to buy English or more of a novelty inclination to see what St. George's can deliver versus Scottish distilleries. During the 2013 Christmas period this edition outsold its M&S Scottish rival on a ratio of two to one.  Seeing how St. George's distillery was founded in 2006 and this is a No Age Statement offering, you know that we're looking at whiskies between 3-7 years in age, give or take.

Distillery: St. George's
Distilled: this is a No Age Statement single malt
Strength: 43%
Price: £35
Additional: made from 100% Norfolk local product


Colour: a wheat harvest

Nose: pine cones and crushed hazelnuts stand out with almonds and lemon cake. Time and a dash of water opens this dram up greatly, with peaches, apple crumble, bread dough and olive oil all bursting forward. There's even a touch of basil going on in the glass.

Taste: not as rich as the nose with a creamy, slightly smoky presence with ripe peaches and ground coffee beans.

This is a solid if unspectacular single malt which tastes young and probably is a little on the juvenile side of things. My initial summary of this dram was one of disappointment. Yet returning again several times during February my opinion softened; much like the malt itself. The open bottle effect was certainly noticeable here as the whisky relaxed. Extra dimensions opened up and it grew in my estimation, but still remains far from spectacular. Truth be told, there are blends out there that offer more of an experience for a lower asking price.

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