In England’s Green and Pleasant Land: Inside the Bottle
When I think of England, I think of home. I do believe they say home is where the heart is… and that is true.
So, when I think of England, I return to memories of childhood.
Day trips on the moors, walks on the beach. I remember sitting and collecting cowries and small fossils on the shoreline when the tide was out. I never lived far from the sea, at one point it was the end of my street. The other it was a walk along a path, sand dunes and then the sea.
I often think of the lady who lived next door to me when I was a little girl… She always made me feel loved, and to recall that with fondness even today, makes me smile. She had a dappled wooden rocking horse on the landing, one flight up. It was a special treat when she would allow me to go up and ride on the toy her grown up daughters used to use. She used to sit me astride her lap and sing “ride a cock-horse to Banbury Cross” with a giggling pigtailed me bobbing up and down on her knee. I also attended infant school in the town, and there I was given a little ballerina which had broken off inside one of the dinner ladies jewellery boxes. I danced and twirled and imagined I was the one in the pretty pink tutu and dancing to my heart’s content…
For one reason or another I have been thinking of England more and more. Don’t ask me why… seriously, don’t. But, Cleveland was my home. A small Victorian seaside town at that. I once met/saw Kevin Keegan there, but, I was too much of a little Smoggy to care, but I believe I was dragged along by my older sister.
My whisky consultant Sorren, https://ocdwhisky.com/ invited me to an online tasting for the English Whisky Company as part of the Whisky Circus (which is his creation.) You can catch up with it over on YouTube. But finish reading this first…
Well, this was going to be an opportunity to sample a new release. Did also you know that Sorren is also an ambassador for The English Whisky Company too? He is. So who better to lead us on this little journey…? This was the oldest age statement release so far from the The English Whisky Distillery.
So thank you Sorren for introducing me to this bottle. Of course I have one, it came free with a bag of crips!!
You know me, I like the number 11.
Yeah really… apart from the legs 11 thing, I bought a house which is number 11, and I signed for and collected the keys for the property on the 11th of November 2011, at 11:11 am. Even the solicitor was amused.
Oh yes, this glass beside me…the contents were distilled in 1st and 2nd fill ex-bourbon casks from Jim Beam. The release comes from a make up of 10 different casks, one of which was peated.
The nose is so inviting… I really noticed this yesterday. It was sat on my coffee table beside me, and the aroma of apples, like an apple danish, and vanilla came to greet my senses. There’s a lovely light hint of wood and a little pepperiness. There was a lovely floral freshness too, reminds me of my garden first thing in the morning, especially now the flowers are in bloom…a hint of cherry too.
Another memory pops up, school sports day in 1981. My chums sitting on a fence, random poorly shot photographs taken against the walls in the playground. The time was coming to leave, to move somewhere new. This felt so alien… I kissed the four walls of my bedroom the afternoon I left our family home. After a night in a hotel near the airport, I would be flying to an unknown life.
The scent of the whisky is pulling me back… sip me please. The palate is quite smooth. The fruit is there…apples and a twist of something a little citrusy. There’s a little oaky spice and I love that. A lovely vanillary note too. A little kick of pepper. It’s a little drying, but that’s okay.
The finish is warm and as you swallow it remains a tad dry… I like this. There’s a woody note too, so that’s me happy and smiling!! Thanks for introducing me to this Sorren!!
So, yes, a trip down memory lane. A trip enjoyed with a rather good whisky in my hand. I know these memories make me smile, maybe it was childhood, maybe it’s just they were my earliest memories… but I needed that.