Island life: Andrew Nelstrop

Island life: Andrew Nelstrop

We send some of the whisky world’s great and good to a desert island. What will they decide to take with them?
Rob Allanson

19 October 2018

Publication: Issue 155

Andrew Nelstrop is the owner of The English Whisky Co. He is the second generation owner of St George’s Distillery based in Norfolk, England, the country's oldest registered whisky distillery. Set in among fields of grain, St George’s Distillery is currently the most prolific producer of English malt whisky. Founded in 2006 by farmer and businessman James Nelstrop, the distillery makes peated and unpeated liquid, and has distilled several thousand casks of English whisky, using grain, rye, as well as barley.

Whisky #1

The English

Rum Cask

Very simply, it reminds me of rum and raisin ice cream. This is surely good enough reason to put it at the top of the list, especially if the island I am castaway on happens to be a sunny and tropical sort of place. In the early days of running English Whisky Co. it is no secret that not only was I relatively new to whisky, I wasn’t too sure it was likely to become my favourite drink. My father, who had fulfilled a lifetime’s ambition by opening the whisky distillery, had a favourite whisky for every occasion, but I was struggling with peated whiskies and found others could be too warm without copious amounts of water. Our Chapter 7 was the first whisky I wanted to drink socially and really truly enjoyed. I felt I had come of age in the world of whisky!

Whisky #2

The English

Peated Sherry cask (previously known as Chapter 16)

If my island were a rather windy and desolate place, I think it may be time to swap the sunshine rum cask for a warming sherry cask. I cured my ambivalence of peated whisky on a long sailing trip across the bay of Biscay; it seems that every whisky has a time and place when they come into their own. I can now attest to the fact that being cold, tired and exhausted and covered in sea salt is a very good way of instilling a love of smoky whisky.

I actually think my preferred island would be a little windy and overcast at times, the whole idea of permanent sunshine might be a bit much for my folliclely challenged noggin.

Whisky #3

Ichiro’s Malt

Double Distilleries

In general I am a fan of Japanese whisky, not only the taste but also because I believe their whisky makers have been instrumental in breaking the Scotch-only mentality of whisky drinkers worldwide. I am a great fan of Ichiro Akuto and think his work at Chichibu Distillery is exemplary. I keep promising myself a trip to Japan to
go and visit... each time I mention the idea of a work trip to Japan at home, everyone thinks I will simply go skiing and not do any work, they may have a point, hence the trip is on my wishlist.

Whisky #4



A favourite hotel of mine has always stocked Blantons and it has crept from an occasional tipple into a go-to whisky when visiting this hotel. My first visit to a Binny’s in Chicago blew me away. The shop was a size of a regular UK supermarket and sold nothing but booze, row upon row of different brands of American whiskey dominated. I would have to live and breathe American whiskey for a decade before having
a clear understanding of all styles produced there.

Whisky #5

Any whisky at all - I am not bothered...

I am getting a little bored of drinking whisky sat on my little island and with boredom brings ingenuity and having worked out a way to open the numerous coconuts strewn around, it is time to experiment. Coconut milk and whisky? Or what about the local mangoes, I just need to work out a way to extract the juice...

A luxury item…

Assuming I have some basics such as water (I do like water for life in general). I think next on the list has to be a boat. I have a pretty low boredom threshold, so would be nice to bugger off when the whisky ran out, or go and fetch someone to help drink it all.

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