...where distraction is the main attraction.

Wednesday, July 28, 2021

Orkney Islands 15 year old 2002 Berry Brothers & Rudd, cask 3 for The Whisky Barrel

(Highland Park cluster homepage)

Though this is another teenage sherry cask Highland Park, I promise I'm done with the masochistic crap. This one's abv is down at a semi-reasonable level of 56.8%. It's also from BB&R who run a decent London outfit, slinging wines for about four centuries, and whisky for approximately one. They did invent Cutty Sark, but that brand didn't go shite until Edrington bought it out. I think.

But even the gentlepeople of Berry Bros couldn't escape Edrington's demands to keep Highland Park's name off the label. Instead, much like the majority of indie HPs, "Orkney" appears instead. I'm not even going to give you the "well, maybe it's Scapa" spiel this time or ever.

Distillery: Highland Park
Ownership: The Edrington Group
Region: Islands (Orkney)
Independent Bottler: Berry Brothers & Rudd
Age: 15 years (2002 - 2018)
Maturation: sherry butt
Cask#: 3
Exclusive to
: The Whisky Barrel
Alcohol by Volume: 56.8%
(from a bottle split)


The nose starts off very briny, with nutty sherry in the background. It slowly develops notes of caramel sauce and roasted corn. There are some notes of raspberry jam and apricot way in the back. It feels tight, with ethyl often dominating the other notes. Reducing it to 46%abv doesn't seem to change anything for a while, then some new notes of smoke, oranges and black raisins appear.

Fruitier than the nose, the palate immediately shows off plums, apricots and Rainier cherries. It never gets sugary, though, as bitter citrus peel, walnuts and serrano pepper provides a little bit of depth. At 46%abv, the citrus becomes sweeter, less bitter. The stone fruits get tangier, and a bitter chocolate bite shows up.

The finish has that citrus peel, apricot juice and pepper oil combo as well, with an added touch of smoke. The finish doesn't change much at 46%abv, perhaps getting slightly sweeter and smokier.


Compared to Monday's whisky, this is much closer to my style of sherried HP. It doesn't start too promising, as the nose reads narrow and bland. Luckily the palate tops the nose, a whisky occurrence I experience once a month at most. With its fresh fruit, moderate oak, and a reasonable strength, this is one of the most drinkable members of the cluster so far. With water it becomes a casual sipper. I'd rather have my Highland Park mumble than scream at me.

Availability - Sold out
Pricing - ???
Rating - 86