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Try award-winning distiller’s ‘liquid Christmas pudding’

PUBLISHED: 17:07 03 September 2018 | UPDATED: 17:07 03 September 2018

A distillery tour  Picture: St George's Distillery

A distillery tour Picture: St George's Distillery

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St George’s Distillery in Roudham launches The Norfolk PX - a blend of sherry and whisky ideal for dessert or your cheeseboard.

The Norfolk PX  Picture: St George's DistilleryThe Norfolk PX Picture: St George's Distillery

It’s not quite sherry and not quite whisky – but whatever it is, it’s darn delicious.

St George’s Distillery, the home of The English Whisky Company in Roudham, Norfolk, has just officially released to the public The Norfolk PX – an intriguingly sweet, sticky (but not sickly) complex spirit that is just perfect drizzled over desserts, served with puds, or set at the table alongside a cheese board.

The drink is, says MD Andrew Nelstrop, a happy accident that first came to life a year ago and has been undergoing very successful trials at the distillery, leading to its general release nationwide this week.

So what’s in it?

“The main ingredient,” divulges Andrew, “is 18-year-old sherry. We source that from the same people we get our sherry casks from. Traditionally whisky is matured for a number of years in casks – one of the favourites being sherry. When we started doing that we found the cost of buying them empty was not much different to them being full.

“When we got the sherry here we wondered what we were going to do with it. We added a bit of whisky which took away some sweetness and what’s left after a year or two of maturing in an oak casks is a popular mix. We can’t call it sherry or whisky though – hence the PX.”

PX is a nod to Pedro Ximenez sherry – which is often luxuriated over dried fruits on the continent as an indulgent, quick dessert.

Don’t mix this drink up with those bottles gathering dust at the back of your drinks cabinet though.

“There’s a history,” says Andrew, “of sherry being something granny would have. A bottle of Croft Original perhaps. It put people off. But some of the sherries available today are amazing. To describe our drink, the go-to statement is that it’s like liquid Christmas pudding!

“Get it very cold and it can replace a dessert wine with pudding. Or leave it at room temperature and you can replace it for Port. It has a more global appeal – everyone around the table will have a go at this which is pretty unusual for an after dinner drink.”

The Norfolk PX is part of The Norfolk range at the distillery – which includes three single malt (grain) whiskies, and the creamy Norfolk Nog.

If you haven’t heard of St George’s Distillery, it’s one of the oldest in England (13 years in 2018) and has too many awards to count to its name. An accolade that especially stands out for Andrew is the fact whisky from the distillery has been nominated four times as the best in Europe in Jim Murray’s Whisky Bible – quite a feat for an East Anglian business.

It really is a passion for the producer.

“Gin or vodka are ‘make today, sell tomorrow’. But with whisky it’s a whole different world. Someone’s chosen the cask and put the drink to sleep for 10 years, maybe a generation. The depth and level of flavour in a good single malt whisky is extraordinary compared to a white spirit. It’s more of an acquired taste but I think whisky’s just more complicated and more interesting. Whisky is rare and has taken a long time and a lot of love for someone to produce into something amazing in the bottle.”

If you want to try The PX and the rest of the range, there are tours and tastings at the distillery every hours from 10am to 4pm. On site are also a restaurant and a big shop selling spirits, clothing, gifts and more.

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