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Berry's Orkney Islands 2003 KWM Cask

Berry's Orkney Islands 2003 KWM Cask


This is our 4th single cask of Highland Park, from our friends at Berry Bros. & Rudd. They can't be quite so explicit about this as we can, but let's be honest, there are only 2 distilleries in the Orkneys, and production was all but non-existent at Scapa in the early 2000s. Any way, this cask was distilled on the mainland of the "Orkney" archipelago in 2003, filled into a Sherry Butt (Berry's Cask No.1), and matured for 17 years before bottling at 59.9% in 2021. It is almost 50% stronger than the Highland Park 18 Year, and about 15% cheaper... that and its awesome. Would we ever bottle it if it were not?!

700ml ml
Region:Scotland > Islands
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Andrew's Tasting Note

Nose: nutty with dark fruits, coal smoke, and sea breeze; big Oloroso sherry tones with notes of damp leather, dark bakers chocolate and Cuban cigar tobacco; grilled dates, fig jam, and candied orange; marzipan coated in chocolate, floral heather honey and classic gentle Orcadian peat.

Palate: big, rich, and earthy; bold oloroso sherry notes lock antlers with firm peat; dark bakers chocolate, Cuban cigars, damp new leather, and Dutch licorice; more grilled dates, fig jam, and prunes; chocolate-covered espresso beans; the peat is earthy but balanced; candied orange, crisp spices, and savory salty tones to round things out.

Finish: rich, coating, and very sherried with more firm Orcadian peat; more leather, chocolate, licorice and dark fruits.

Comment: this is nothing like our last couple of Berry's "Orkney" single malts, it is much more sherried and closer to the Highland Park house style; regardless this is a lovely expression, everything I wish the HP18 could be, and more! 

Producer Tasting Note

"This sherry butt has achieved the trick balance of peat and sherry beautifully, aromas of cigar boxes, leather and honey abound. The palate delivers a near perfect Orcadian whisky blanacing dried figs, dates and prunes with peat smoke and complex floral notes. This superlative whisky finishes with clove rock and more rich fruits."

One of our favourite independent bottlers, Berry Bros. & Rudd is a stored London based firm which has resided at #3 St. James Street, a stone's throw from St. James Palace, since 1698. Primarily a wine merchant, they have also played a prominent role in the Scotch whisky industry. In addition to founding the Cutty Sark Blend, and managing the Glenrothes brand for 30 years, BBR is also an independent bottler. We have long been impressed not only by the quality of their independent bottlings, but also their value! 

Berry Bros. & Rudd in Their Own Words

With two Royal Warrants and more than 300 years of history, Berry Bros. & Rudd is Britain’s original wine and spirits merchant. 

We can trace our history back to 1698, when an enterprising woman called the Widow Bourne started an “Italian grocer’s” at No.3 St James’s Street, selling tea, snuff, spices and the most fashionable drink of the day, coffee. The sign of the coffee mill still hangs outside our premises at No.3 today, in tribute to our roots.

In due course, our focus shifted to something a little bit stronger. As wine became important to the business, so too did spirits, and we started bottling casks under our label in the early 19th century, making us Britain’s oldest independent spirits bottler. Three centuries on, the family business continues to flourish, with its heart still very much at No.3.

While much has changed over the years, we are still owned and managed by members of the Berry and Rudd families, and we continue to supply the British Royal Family, as we have done since the reign of King George III. We still, from time to time, weigh customers on a giant set of coffee scales, a tradition which began in the 1760s, with Lord Byron, William Pitt and Beau Brummell among those who have had their weights recorded in our ledgers. Most importantly, we still believe that everything you should look for in a wine or spirit comes down to one simple question: “Is it good to drink?”

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