English Distillery Scoops Top Prize At World Whisky Awards

The latest chapter in the long-running rivalry between England and Scotland saw the two go head to head in the battle for the best single malt at the World Whisky Awards. And in a result that will surprise many, it was actually an English distillery that came out on top.

The annual competition, which is sponsored by Whisky Magazine, has been around for more than 20 years and each year, distilleries compete for a number of awards, with the most esteemed prize being the best single malt.

In more years than not, the top honour is scooped by a Scottish whisky-maker – but not this year. In what’s been hailed as an upset for the ages, the award for the world’s best single malt went to a small English distillery in Norfolk.

What’s even more impressive is the Nelstrop distillery has only been operating since 2007, making the company’s win for its English Sherry Cask all the more impressive.

“We’re stunned,” said Nelstrop in a statement about the victory, as reported by Yahoo. “Whilst any whisky maker hopes to win an award, winning the big one is the realisation of my father’s sole goal of creating world-class single malt whiskies in England, and sharing them with whisky lovers around the world.”

This unpeated single malt undergoes maturation exclusively in Pedro Ximenez sherry casks, without an age statement. 

Bottled at 46% ABV, it boasts natural colour and is free from chill filtration. The barley for the mash bill is sourced from local farms and Nelstrop family-owned fields. From milling to distillation and maturation, the entire process occurs onsite.

Other notable victors at the World Whisky Awards include the 1792 12 Years Old (Best Bourbon), Ballantine’s 30 Years Old (Best Blended) and Redbreast 21 (Best Pot Still). 

For anyone looking to sample the English Sherry Cask, you can pick up a bottle for as little as £59 on the distillery’s website. Not bad for the world’s best single malt!

For those involved in whisky cask ownership in England, these are promising times. That’s because Nestrop isn’t the only distillery in England that’s making waves. There are plenty of other brands, from the South West all the way to the Peak District, producing excellent whiskies. 

So it looks like Scotland may have some competition on its hands, reigniting a rivalry that’s almost as old as time itself!