Bere Barley is a six-row heritage variety that has long since been forgotten from the modern world of standardized whisky making.
It was introduced to Scotland by Vikings about 1000 years ago and had been used for distillation before higher yield strains became available. Bere is considered obsolete by most distillers due to its desperately low yield; farmers can expect 50% less grain from this six-row variety than a modern crop. Bruichladdich started distilling from Bere variety in 2006. The 2010 edition was distilled from grain harvested in 2009 on Orkney farms – Weyland, Watersfield, Quoyberstane, Norfield and Richmond. The whisky was aged exclusively in ex-bourbon barrels for about nine years and bottled at 50% abv.
Nose: malty and fruity, porridge, ripe pears and peaches, lemon curd, vanilla, honey, toffee, coconut flakes, golden syrup, hints of eucalyptus and mint.
Palate: very rich, sweet cereals with honey, buttered rye toast, vanilla, toffee, milk chocolate, peaches, nectarines and pretty strong oaky notes.
Finish: fairly long, with notes of ripe apples, peaches and pears, vanilla, milk chocolate, dash of white pepper and oak.