Berry Bros line highlights Nordic whisky

London-based Berry Bros & Rudd has unveiled a new collection of single cask whiskies from four Nordic distilleries.

The British wine and spirits merchant said the new range marks the first time an independent bottler has focused on the ‘progressive’ whisky region. Selected by Berry Bros’ reserve spirits manager Jonny McMillan, The Nordic Casks range aims to highlight different raw materials, production methods and innovation. The collection comprises whiskies from four distilleries: Norway’s Myken, Sweden’s High Coast, Finland’s Kyrö and Fary Lochan in Denmark. McMillan said: “The Nordics is one such region that has intrigued me and, although young it is already developing its own identity and character. The people of this rugged and majestic landscape, not dissimilar to Scotland, have long been known for their love of great whiskies. “They are now drawing inspiration for their own production both from the robust drams of Scotland and from the precise and chiselled Japanese style – while injecting their own influence throughout. “Of all the emerging global whisky regions, the Nordics has so far perhaps had the least acclaim, but with distillers of such quality and passion it’s unlikely to remain that way for long.”
Tasting notes
Berry Bros said the range will provide whisky drinkers with the first chance to buy an independent bottling from several unique distilleries. Distilled in 2016, the Kyrö whisky (54.6% ABV) is limited to 256 bottles. The Finnish malt rye bottling offers a nose of warm rye bread, butter, rich vanilla and wood spice, while the palate provides fruitiness balanced with mashed banana, pine needles and plum jam. The Sherried single malt (60.9% ABV) from Sweden's High Coast was distilled in 2013 and is limited to 290 bottles. The nose offers smoked bacon, seaweed and dried prune notes, while the palate is intense initially with 'powerful Sherry notes' followed by hints of tobacco, blackcurrant and dates. Family-owned Fary Lochan in south Jutland is offering a rare cask of its 'nettle-smoked' single malt whisky, distilled in 2014 and bottled at an ABV of 60.9%. On the nose, it is said to provide 'zesty green fruits and nettle leaves', with flavours of camphor, lime and melon. Only 243 bottles have been created. Finally, the 2017 single malt (61.4% ABV) from Myken, based on a tiny island in Norway, has notes of light green fruit, bonfire ash and lime on the nose. The palate is 'peated, medicinal and coastal with notes of wild garlic and sooty chimneys'. It is limited to 246 bottles. The Nordic Casks range will go on sale from 2 September in the UK for £150 (US$206) each from BBR Retail, Royal Mile Whiskies and other selected retailers. To support the launch of the new collection, Berry Bros will host a live virtual tasting on its Facebook and YouTube pages at 7pm BST on 2 September. Consumers can purchase limited edition tasting packs containing the whiskies in 30ml bottles for £35 (US$48) from the Berry Bros website and Royal Mile Whiskies. A guest from each Nordic distillery will join McMillan, Thomas Øhrbom from the Whisky Saga blog and Emma Anderson from Sweden’s Allt om Whisky magazine for the tasting. Last month, Berry Bros & Rudd unveiled a new design for its spirits portfolio and launched a heritage-inspired campaign.