Titanic Whisky: The Glenrothes and ‘The Plucky Little Countess’

on Apr 11 in Scottish, Single Malt Whisky, Speyside by dan

Berry Bros. & Rudd has bottled a limited edition of just 100 bottles from a Sherry Cask of The Glenrothes 1998 Speyside, Single Malt Whisky to commemorate the centenary of the heroic efforts of the Countess of Rothes aboard the ill-fated RMS Titanic.

The Whisky replicates the stock lost by Berry Bros when the Titanic foundered a century ago. 69 cases of wine, Champagne and Whisky destined for the US didn’t make it.

Berry Bros. & Rudd released limited edition Single Cask Malt Whisky to commemorate heroism of Countess Rothes, the Titanic’s “Plucky Little Countess” and commemorates centenary of the sinking of RMS Titanic, April 15, 1912.

The Countess of Rothes, the title originating from the Speyside town where this Malt Whisky was distilled, was aboard the ship when it struck the iceberg. She took the tiller and later to the oars of life boat No. 8 during the life-threatening moments and it is said that her efforts contributed to the survival of the boats occupants.

She was given the additional title of the “Plucky Little Countess” following the 33 year old’s action. A contemporary account at the time relates “The countess is an expert oarswoman,” said Dr. Leader. “She practically took command of our boat when it was found that the seamen who had been placed at the oars could not row skilfully. Several of the women took their place with the countess at the oars and rowed in turns while the weak and unskilled stewards sat quietly in one end of the boat.”

Just 100 bottles of the special edition whisky will be released, priced at £100 each. Every bottle in the edition is individually numbered on replica labels from the early-1900s. The bottles used replicate the Edwardian style of those lost to the depths of the Atlantic.

Ledgers in the Berry Bros. & Rudd archive show that of the 24 bottles lost, 10 bottles of Berrys’ Best malt whisky were destined to be delivered to an Esmond Ovey Esq at the British Embassy in Washington. Later Sir Esmond Ovey, the gentleman in question had a glittering diplomatic career serving as an envoy to Mexico and ambassador to Moscow, Belgium, the Argentine Republic and Paraguay. Esmond was uncle to Michael Palin – where our latter-day Phileas Fogg perhaps inherited his travelling genes.

Douglas McIvor, Berrys’ Spirits Manager chose the 13 year old single cask matured in Oloroso barrels for its distinctive vanilla, deep citrus, dried fruits, figs, coffee and spice nose together with the characteristic deep fruity notes and honeyed texture of The Glenrothes on the palate. He adds that the whisky shows the aromas of Brazil nuts with a liquorice edge and a lingering sweet fruitiness balanced with soft oak tannins on the finish.

Simon Berry, Chairman of Berry Bros. & Rudd, who commissioned the making of this unique whisky, said:

“Berrys’ has a long tradition of vatting as well as selling the finest whiskies. One hundred years ago, we lost some of our finest malt when the RMS Titanic struck an iceberg. It is 100 years since the tragic loss of this iconic ship but the launch of this bottling from The Glenrothes is our way to commemorate that fateful night as much as the achievements The Countess of Rothes – undoubtedly of one of the night’s heroines.”

Whether thsi is your kind of thing or not, you will have to keep your eyes peeled if you want to grab a bottle, as its sold out (as these things tend to). You will have to aquire your titanic whisky another way, which tends to get expensive.

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