Cutty Sark 100-Year-Old Celebration 1923 – 2023
Nicola and I were delighted and honoured to receive an invite from Iain Allan, the Global Brand Ambassador for Glen Moray to attend a day in London for the Cutty Sark 100 Year celebrations. This exceptional invite was such a delight to us both – Thank you, Iain.
We were greeted by Iain on our arrival and enjoyed a brief catch-up. This was an exclusive invite with only just over twenty guests for this early afternoon event. Next on our agenda was a visit around the premises of Berry Brothers and Rudd where we had a delightful canopy lunch with cocktails – whisky cocktails are always a joy – especially Cutty Sark Cocktails. Part of the celebration was to have a tour of Berry Brothers and Rudd’s premises, which was a very impressive and elegant building, by the legend that is Ronnie Cox who has spent a lifetime in the Whisky industry and 30 years at Berry Bros and Rudd. We were shown around the venue, including the room where Cutty Sark Blend was born.
After the tour and lunch, our next adventure was to head down to a fantastic lower level for a special unveiling. We all sat around two large and quite magnificent dining tables and were then given an in-depth history of the 100 years of The Cutty Sark Brand. Our hosts for this tutorial were Ronnie Cox and Stephen Woodcock ‘ Head of Whisky Creation’ which was very informative.
At the end of the chat we were given a big surprise, the launch of a new Cutty Sark, The Centenary Edition, limited to just over 1,400 bottles. After the unveiling, we were all invited to taste this exceptional dram.
Cutty Sark’s complex Centenary Edition was unveiled to customers, industry experts and Whisky writers. A blend of hand-selected Whiskies from many of Scotland’s iconic distilleries, this 23-year-old has only 1435 bottles containing this wonderful liquid. The edition is in fabulous packaging resembling the Cutty Sark’s mainsail, a cleat cork letting you know that this is from the inspiration of this tea clipper.
This blends single malt casks that previously held oloroso sherry and it was then finished in port wine casks. These casks are married with hand-chosen malt and grain Whiskies. The final blend was filled into casks that held port for 100 days. Bottled at cask strength and non-chill filtered giving a storm of complex flavours.
Cutty Sark Centenary Edition will be sold in specialist stores across brand core markets like Spain, USA, Portugal, Greece, and Japan.
On the nose, I got a slight citrus burst, sherry-soaked raisins, toffee and crushed nuts with some mild spices. On my palate, I got sweetness, chocolate-covered coffee beans, hedgerow berries and fruit. The finish was long, citrusy with more spice and the fruit lingered so well.
Bottled at 52.2% Alc/vol
This is so good you could think you were actually drinking a well-aged single malt.
After checking into our hotel we got ready for a grand night of celebrations which duly deserved getting our glad rags on. We had a short walk from our hotel to Tower Bridge Quay where a launch was awaiting (it felt almost like being in a James Bond movie). The launch first took us to see some of London’s sights. Houses of Parliament, Big Ben, the Shard and the London Eye.
We sat and looked at the sights while we tasted some great cocktails. After the short sightseeing trip, the launch headed for Greenwich, the home of the fastest tea clipper in the world, The Cutty Sark. This would be our venue for the evening. In total, for this evening event, there were approx 220 guests from all around the world. We sat beneath the Cutty Sark in this large venue, capable of hosting in excess of 250 guests. This was quite a privilege to experience a fantastic banquet underneath the hull. It was truly surreal to be enjoying an evening under this historic clipper, not many folks will have had this honour.
The evening started off with some cocktails and bottle upon bottle of Bollinger Champagne (my wife would have loved it). There was a four-piece group providing a fabulous mixture of music.
We then sat down to a wonderful meal, consisting of a lobster starter, heritage beef blade and to finish was a chocolate mousse and panna cotta, so delightful. After the meal, we had a piper pipe Highland Cathedral and when he finished we all sang happy birthday on the Cutty Sark reaching the ripe old age of 100.
The evening continued with speeches from senior members of La Martiniquaise as well as Ronnie Cox and Stephen Woodcock all being introduced by Iain Allan.
Once again they unveiled the new Centenary Edition for the assembled guests and we all got a chance to taste this new edition, going down a treat.
The night finished with a return launch back to Tower Bridge. We were both tired and elated all at the one time, Time for a nightcap and a good sleep.
A great day of celebrations for the 100 years of the Cutty Sark Blended Scotch Whisky.
Once again Nicola and I must thank Iain Allen for the invite to an outstanding celebration and events. We will remember this day for many years to come. Look forward to seeing you soon.