KWM 2023 Whisky Calendar Blog Day 3 - Berry's The Perspective 21-Year-Old Blend
Posted on December 8, 2023
Today's whisky in the 2023 KWM Whisky Calendar is Berry's The Perspective 21-Year-Old Blend. But what does that all mean?
Perspective. Such a great and important word, that. It is the thing that seems to be lacking most in the inflexible, sound-byte-driven news and social media world we live in. So much of what we should be thinking and feeling is veritably screamed into our ears and shoved down our throats with the intent of making us meekly comply, or worse, become one with the shouting mass itself. Ideas and concepts and points of view are not something we are given time to ponder and develop. Instead, they are swung at us like the bluntest of instruments at a terminal velocity, used to inflict and provoke immediate and precise reactions in everything we do and towards everyone we meet.
Sorry. I am not quite sure where I was going with that. Maybe it is best to take a deep breath, pull back a little, and focus on the little bottle in front of us instead of trying to suss out the Big Picture. What is Perspective, and while we are at it; what does Berry have to do with it?
Berry’s – in this case – refers to Berry Bros. & Rudd, which is the oldest Wine Merchant in the world. The company was founded 325 years ago, back in 1698, at the address of 3 St. James Street in London, UK. The family-owned company first started in the coffee business by a woman referred to as The Widow Bourne. Her first name has since been lost to history. The focus on coffee diversified over time to include cocoa, tea, spices and exotic goods.
The company entered the wine game in the 1700s and that has been its focus ever since. It was the first wine merchant to launch a website, which happened back in 1994. Over its history, Berry’s has offered and managed private bottlings of whisky for its many clients and customers, but in 2002 it started publicly selling its Berry’s Own Selection single malt releases to the public, becoming an independent bottler.
Berry Bros. & Rudd also created the Cutty Sark blend, owned the Glenrothes brand (but not the actual distillery) for a time, and currently has a minority stake in Cotswolds Single Malt Whisky, but those are stories for another time.
The Berry’s Perspective series was released in 2019. The 21-year-old we are tasting today is actually the youngest in the lineup, as 25-year-old, 35, and 40-year-old versions were released as well. Each of these Blended Scotch Whisky releases features the black and white photography of Lindsay Robertson. The creation of each blend in the Perspective series was undertaken by Master Blender and Senior Spirits Manager Doug McIvor, who has been with Berry Bros. & Rudd since 2001.
The 21-year-old was a batch release of 6300 bottles at 43% ABV. Nothing is stated about what whisky is in the blend. The photo on the label is of Sandwood Bay in Sutherland. According to the full-sized bottle’s label, “Fresh vibrant fruit is undercut by delicate oak and spice, gracefully interwoven with vanilla and honey. A lingering finish caps the experience”. Will we agree with that?
Evan’s Tasting Note
Nose: Silky, waxy fruit notes with just a touch of coastal peat. Fresh grapes, apple cider, plum sauce, and an orange twist all mingle together nicely with hints of smoke, oak spice, and lemon bundt cake with vanilla glaze.
Palate: Those grapes transition to raisin mode on the palate. Roasted almonds, apple chips, Swedish Berry candies, soft ginger ale, black licorice, and smores around the campfire are also in play.
Finish: Slightly drying, but milk chocolate and dried fruit and nutty notes stick around.
Comment: This is one elegant blend that has a lot to give if you are willing to take your time with it. I feel like my focus would be on completely different notes if I wrote them down at any other time.
Andrew's Tasting Note
Nose: sweet, creamy, fruity, and elegant; Jujubes, caramel apples, dulce de leche, and licorice; a fine balance of chocolate, dried fruits, spices, leather, and tobacco; the grain adds a silky elegance to the richer malts; is that a faint whiff of peat?
Palate: soft, fruity, and malty with coating oils, toasted oak, and silky filaments of old grain whisky; floral and herbaceous with loads of honey, more dulce de leche, and gamey goats milk chocolate; savoury and decadent spices: more chewy citrus candies, soft white orchard fruits, and caramel apple; French roast coffee beans, leather, and tobacco, with soft licorice; a touch of dunnage, and another hint of subtle peat; elegant, and smooth with lots of layers.
Finish: light, fresh, fruity, and elegant with a decent length; more Jujubes, chocolate, leather, tobacco and spices; delicately coating and oily.
Comment: This is lovely stuff, both sessionable, and worthy of a bit closer inspection too; very well blended, it is very easy to drink; but it also has lots of layers; old school blend, and a nice dram.
See you tomorrow for Day Number Four in our 2023 Kensington Wine Market Whisky Calendar!
Facebook & Instagram: @sagelikefool
Want more information on Berry Bros. & Rudd Casks? Check out our recent Virtual Tasting on that subject here!
- Kensington Wine Market's 2023 Whisky Calendar UBER EDITION Day 25 - SMWS 76.151 - Cloves studded in honey-glazed ham
- KWM 2023 Whisky Calendar Blog Day 25 - G&M Linkwood 25
- Kensington Wine Market's 2023 Whisky Calendar UBER EDITION Day 24 - Whisky Sponge Glen Keith 1993
- KWM 2023 Whisky Calendar Blog Day 24 - SMWS 36.209 - WILL YOU JOIN THE WORM TUB CLUB?
- Kensington Wine Market's 2023 Whisky Calendar UBER EDITION Day 23 - G&M Bladnoch 1988 KWM Cask
- KWM 2023 Whisky Calendar Blog Day 23 - Bowmore 18 Year
- Kensington Wine Market's 2023 Whisky Calendar UBER EDITION Day 22 - Boutique-y Japanese Whisky Batch 5 - 21 Year Old
- KWM 2023 Whisky Calendar Blog Day 22 - Berry's Dailuaine 2010 KWM Cask
- Kensington Wine Market's 2023 Whisky Calendar UBER EDITION Day 21 - Maltbarn Invergordon 1972 - 49 Year Old
- KWM 2023 Whisky Calendar Blog Day 21 - Old Pulteney 15 Year