St George's Distillery, based in eastern England, is preparing to launch the only known English whisky.

The English family distillery, started in 2006, will launch its first limited edition whisky on 11 December, with a general release set for 16 December.

Andrew Nelstrop, managing director of the English Whisky Company, told just-drinks that the business is a "dream and ambition" of his father's.

"It doesn't just differ from a Scotch whisky, it differs from every whisky," he said. 

"The style, for those who want to compare it to something, would have to be like a Speyside whisky, but you won't be able to go and find a Glenfiddich or a Glenlivet that tastes remotely like it," he added.

The 46% ABV whisky will be distributed in the UK by Gordon & MacPhail and will cost around GBP35 at retail. 

"For this very first release we will have bottled somewhere in the region of 4,500 bottles, 2,000 of which are limited edition and 2,500 will be available to anyone else," said Nelstrop.

In 2010, the company is hoping to sell around 40,000-45,000 bottles and around 100,000 in the following year - the majority of which, Nelstrop said, will be shipped abroad.

The whisky will be available from the distillery or online at www.englishwhisky.co.uk, as well as a few small local retailers.