Independent Scotch whisky producer, Isle of Arran Distillers, has teamed up with The University of the Highlands and Islands Orkney College to produce a 10-year-old cask strength whisky made with barley introduced to Scotland by the Vikings.
The Arran Malt Orkney Bere has been matured in ex-Bourbon barrels for ten years and has been bottled at a cask strength of 56.2%. It is sweet, earthy and malty and conjures flavours of ripe honeydew melon and apples with a finish of vanilla and desiccated coconut, which work together to showcase the character of Bere Barley.
The limited edition release of just 4,890 bottles comes after a first edition of the malt quickly sold out last year. Demand for this collectorâ€™s edition is expected to be extremely high.
Euan Mitchell, managing director of Isle of Arran Distillers, said: â€œWe are one of only a handful of distilleries that use bere barley as it is notoriously difficult to grow. However, for those who persevere, it can produce an outstanding malt, as is the case with this highly-anticipated new release.
â€œWeâ€™re constantly looking for new ways to interest and excite whisky aficionados, and as an independent distillery we have the freedom to try new things as we have done with the Orkney Bere edition.
â€œWe are extremely proud to have produced a whisky which uses a crop that is part of Scotlandâ€™s rich heritage. We are sure it will thrill and delight those who taste it.â€
Thought to have been brought to the UK by the Vikings over 1,000 years ago, Bere Barley is a challenging crop for farmers though can produce barley results in exceptional quality of spirit.
Until the 19th century Bere Barley was one of the most important Scottish crops and was widely grown by farmers and used by millers, brewers and distillers. Despite being a fundamental part of Scotlandâ€™s agricultural heritage, the crop is now only commercially grown on islands off Scotlandâ€™s North and West coasts as it has been replaced by higher yielding modern varieties.
To challenge this, Isle of Arran Distillers teamed up with the Agronomy Institute at Orkney College UHI, part of the University of the Highlands and Islands, to revive the spirit of this barley which generates a unique taste of whisky as it used to be - a flavour which can be found in the new Arran Malt Orkney Bere.
Like all of Isle of Arran Distillersâ€™ whiskies, this 10-year-old has been made with no artificial colouring and non-chill filtered. You can buy the whisky online at www.arranwhisky.com and specialist whisky shops after it goes on sale on the 10th November, priced at RRP Â£59.99.