English whisky begins in a brewery

• From Harpers Wine and Spirits Trade Reviews

CORNWALL, England -- Two Cornish drinks producers have teamed up to create what they claim is the first whiskey to be produced in Cornwall in over 300 years and the oldest whiskey to be launched in England for more than a century.

The limited edition Hicks & Healey Cornish Single Malt 7 Year Old Whiskey is the brainchild of St. Austell Brewery and Healey's Cyder Farm.

Made with Maris Otter barley grown in Trerulefoot, southeast Cornwall, and spring water, the wash was mixed at St. Austell Brewery's traditional Victorian brewhouse, before being transferred to Healey's Farm and passed through a double distillation in a traditional copper pot still. The best cut was then collected and filled into American bourbon charred casks.

"It's taken 300 years to craft Cornwall's first premium whiskey and seven years to age it," said David Healey from Healey's Cyder Farm. "In Cornwall we like to take our time in order to get things right -- and it's well worth the wait."

"We are all delighted with the results which help consolidate Cornwall's position as a leader in the UK drinks sector," added James Staughton, St. Austell Brewery's managing director and great-great grandson of the brewery's founder Walter Hicks.

The whiskey has been bottled unfiltered at a cask strength of 61.3% abv. It is available in 50cl bottles in a wooden presentation box with two glasses, priced at £150 (US$243).

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