In Good Spirits at Berry Bros

Posted by: on Dec 3, 2010 | One Comment

I’ve written before about my love of Berry Bros. & Rudd in London’s St. James’s.  You get that wonderful Ye Olde Shoppe feeling while getting throughly modern service and product.  If you’re a frequent reader, you also know I love my smokey whisky.  Smokey anything really.  Something about that mix of meaty, vegetal, and medicinal flavors just really excites me.  But, I digress.

I also drink unpeated whisky, albeit less often.  One of my personal favorites is The Glenrothes, a lovely Speyside distillery owned by Berry’s.  Thus, when stopping into Ye Olde Shoppe, there are ample opportunities to sample the various expressions.  The Glenrothes is unusual in that they release by vintage instead of a standard offering of various ages.  My personal favorite is the 1991, although the 94 and 88 are quite delicious as well.

This week though, Berry’s always friendly, always knowledgable Sprits Director treated me to something really special.  John Ramsay, the malt master at The Glenrothes since 1991 was asked upon his retirement last year to create what he thought was the perfect expression of the house style, and thus The John Ramsay was born.  Only 1400 bottles available, I was generously offered a little nip to expand my palate.

If the 91 wears an off the peg suit from Zegna, beautifully crafted of fine materials and a cut above most, the John Ramsay is discreetly decked out in flannel from Anderson & Sheppard.  Silky, indulgent, and wonderfully articulate, the flavors of complex spices, crushed almonds, hazelnuts, baked pears, and dried grass seemed to unfold and make their presence clear one after another, giving me the full character of the whisky only after I took the time to reflect and re-taste.  For me, unique sensory experiences like this is what drinking is all about.  Cheers.

1 Comment

  1. The Glenrothes 1995, In Time for Burns Night - Simply Refined
    January 20, 2012

    [...] that to my nose smell of ex-American Bourbon.  It’s a sort of odd-ball wood profile, but John Ramsay knew what he was [...]


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