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Sunday, December 13, 2009

English Whisky About to Hit the Market

It's been more than a century since the last distillery in England sold a whisky. On Wednesday that streak will end.

St. George's Distillery by the River Thet in eastern England has been aging whisky for three years and will release the first bottles this week. Three years is the required aging time to officially become a whisky and the spirit eclipsed that mark in ex-Jim Beam Bourbon barrels in late November.

The people behind this whisky have been growing malt for Scottish distillers and decided in 2005 to establish a distillery. They coaxed a former Laphroaig distiller -- Iain Henderson -- out of retirement. It was a big deal in 2007 when Prince Charles showed up to officially open the distillery.

The English Whisky Co. will market peated and plain whiskies. Initial shipments are being sent to Japan, Singapore, France, Germany, the Netherlands, Belgium and Canada. The company hopes to open the United States marketing during 2010.

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