Published on September 12th, 2016 | by Ruben0
St. George’s Pedro Ximénez 2012
The English Whisky Company was started by the Nelstrop family in Norfolk, moving forward from a 600 year old tradition of growing and processing grains. In 2006 the distillery, named St. George’s distillery, was the first to be built in England for over 120 years. Each of their whiskies is bottled as a numbered ‘chapter’, so you can read the evolution of their spirits as a book.
Some of their single malt whisky is matured in Pedro Ximénez sherry casks that are produced and seasoned with sherry in Spain and then shipped to England. To withstand temperatures differences and prevent the casks from drying out, they are filled with a couple of litres of sherry while being shipped. The distillery decided it was too nice to be wasted, so they kept the PX aside, added some of their single malt and left it in the casks for a while to settle. The resulting liquid is some kind of double-fortified wine if you like. An interesting idea.
I’m trying the 2012 bottling which I bought some time ago. It says St. George’s Pedro Ximénez on the label, but new releases say Nelstrop’s Pedro Ximénez. Some editions seem to have a higher strength than others (usually between 19 and 21%).
St. George’s Pedro Ximénez (19%, St. George’s distillery, 2012)
Nose: like a young PX wine. Plenty of figs and raisins, stewed dark fruits. Very syrupy, but there’s also an alcoholic kick that is bigger than in a regular PX, making it more pungeant and a little rough.
Mouth: sweet, very sweet, all on sticky toffee pudding, raisins and figs. Then also chocolate liqueur and mulled rum. Cooked apples. Cheap liqueur-filled chocolates. It’s fine but again there’s this rough alcoholic side, which is not integrated. It’s obvious that this is the added whisky, but I don’t really see it as an asset.
Summary: I love it when the thick sweetness of PX is balanced with acidity or savoury notes. In this case I guess they tried adding a dash of whisky as a substitute, but adding (rough) whisky to a mediocre PX is not a solution. I love sherried whisky and there's great PX wine to be found, but this is rather pointless in my opinion.