Desert Island Drams: Ed Bates of Berry Brothers & Rudd – Scotch Whisky News

Ed is the other half of the BB&R spirits team. A Londoner through and through, Ed joined the team in 2002 to work at our shop in Heathrow Terminal 3. Since then his passion for all things spiritual has led him to work with Doug McIvor full time on Berrys’ spirits. In 2008 his long affair with French spirits led to him becoming Berrys’ very first Musketeer d’Armagnac.

I can remember the scene quite clearly. I was in a ski lift with my brother, who was working for Berrys at the time. “Try this” he said, as he passed me his hip flask. “Good isn’t it!” He was right. The contents of the flask were quite bewitching. All the delicacy and elegance that, in my book, Glenlivet should have.

1991 Bruichladdich, Bottled 2004 (46%)
This was my introduction to the McIvor-isms that I am now so used to. Doug described it to me as “Standing on the shore of Loch Indall eating shortbread, downwind of the maltings.” He was right, this was how I found that I did like Islay Whiskies after all.

1968 Springbank, Bottled 2003 (46%)
Oh, the wonders of Springbank; it’s the balance that gets me. The way the peat is so perfectly balanced with the rich fruitiness. This is the sort of dram that you can contemplate for hours and hours.

1965 Carsebridge Grain Single Grain, Bottled 2006 (46%)
This wasn’t the first time I had realised that Grains could be just as interesting as Malts (that honour goes to the 1989 Girvan, more to come in 2010), however it was the first time I realised just how good they could be. The level of complexity here is truly astonishing.

1982 Port Ellen, Bottled 2006 (55.6%)
What a loss! (Heavy sigh!) any distillery that makes Whisky this good deserves to survive. This wonderful bottling shows just what we have all been missing since the fateful day when the doors at Port Ellen closed for the last time. Sadly missed, not forgotten.

Visit Bery Bros. & Rudd at WWW.BBR.COM/SPIRITS

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