Three New Whiskies From Berry’s Own Selection

Berry’s Own Selection is a line of independently bottled single malt whiskies sourced, selected and bottled by Berry Brothers & Rudd in London. They are one of the world’s oldest wine merchants, and have been trading from the same shop at 3 James Street for more than 300 years. The company began retailing whiskies in 1909 under the “Berry’s Own Selection” label, making it one of the oldest independent bottlers in Scotland. For two successive years, 2010 and 2011, Berry Brothers has been awarded Independent Bottler of the Year by Whisky Magazine as part of their “Icons of Whisky” awards.

Kensington Wine Market has carefully selected three bottlings from Berry Own Selection for exclusive sale in Canada! I sat down with my good friend and fellow whisky lover Dr. Jane Cameron and a batch of samples for review some months ago. After the tasting we settled on three favourites which I arranged to bring in to the store.

Berry’s Own Teaninich 1973 – 41.8% – 37 Year – Bottled 2010 – Cask 10418 – My Tasting Note: Nose: fruit flan, shortbread with icing sugar and softly toasted oak; it is so decadent with Crave vanilla cupcake icing, peaches, almond paste and buttery French croissants right out of the oven; there are some green floral and herbal notes but they never manage to dull the lustre of the more decadent ones; Palate: very soft, grassy but buttery with more sweet decadent notes; the oak is firm, thick and oily with roasted coconut chips, vanilla extract and cocoa beans; there are citrus notes to the palate which I didn’t pick up on the nose: like lemon drops and candied orange; Finish: drying and oily, but sweet with rich sugars and warm toasted oak; the oils linger as the sweet oak coating the palate long into the finish; Comments: this is dollar for dollar a better buy than the Daluiane (see below) and the one which will please the greater number of whisky drinkers. – $246.99

Berry’s Own Daluaine 1973 – 50.6%37 Year – Bottled 2010 – Cask 6074/5 - My Tasting Note: Nose: at first warm with caramelized fruit and gentle spices; the spices develop into ground cinnamon, coriander, cardamom and anise; the toasted oak develops next followed by some stewed and poached fruits like apple and pear then figs and prunes; as it opens up the fruits come to the fore and dominate all else with peaches, plum and dried apricots; Palate: the fruits waste no time coming out on the palate, though they are immediately accompanied by sweet spices like ginger, cardamom and liquorice; the oak makes its presence felt with some earthy notes, wet leaves and clove; fresh peaches, strawberries and dried apricots also emerge with some stronger notes of coffee bean, candied orange, moist ginger snap and glazed raisin Danishes; Finish: round and chewy with more notes of glazed raisin Danishes, burnt liquorice and espresso bean; some of the stronger sherry notes like wet leather and tobacco start to show later with some nutty-chocolaty notes. Comments: hands down my favourite of the three, it shows the most growth and the most depth of any of these whiskies. – $286.99

Berry’s Own Bowmore 1994 – 46% - 14 Years – Bottled 2008 – Cask 1682/3 – My Tasting Note: Nose: very herbal with fresh green grass, salty and medicinal notes, cured fish and clean smoke; shortbread with granular sugar topping, candied lemon, something a little rubbery and burning grass; steamed mussels in broth, Salt n Vinegar chips and rubber tubing; Palate: a little ashy with clean burning wood smoke, liquid honey and vanilla; the palate shows more steamed mussels in a very salty broth with a sweet sugary backbone that never really disappears; the whisky has an oily-mouth-coating character and some balancing acidity; Finish: fine cigar tobacco, gently peat oils and sweet toasted oak, with clove and more clean wood smoke Comments: this is a night and day different whisky from the Tempest which is more creamy and buttery, this one is much more salty, smoky and sweet! - $95.59


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