The Barrel Sample: Berry Bros & Rudd Diamond 2010 – 2021 Islay Cask Finish

Berry Bros & Rudd are a wine and spirit merchant based in London who also act as independent bottlers. Here I have a sample of a Guyanese rum finished in a former ex-Williamson (Islay whisky) cask.

Molasses based, distilled at Diamond Distillery in unspecified stills, aged for 10 years in Guyana in an ex-Bourbon barrel and finished in a former peated Islay whisky cask. This is a single cask with only 235 bottles available and it’s bottled at 60.5% ABV without any additions.

On the nose there’s a lovely sweet barbeque sauce note. Stinky cheese, steak, maple syrup, liquorice and mouldy cardboard. Ground black pepper, mango, peach and freshly printed ink. It’s a very interesting profile. Sea breeze, paprika, burnt coal and cinnamon.

On the palate it actually feels balanced. Chocolate liquorice, English breakfast tea, barbeque meat and mezcal. Caramel, cayenne pepper, sweet chilli and toasted oak. A touch of peppermint, banana and vanilla. The Guyanese rum is upfront while towards the end the peat starts to gradually come out along with some hot spiciness. The finish is long with intense, burnt tobacco, mint and hot pepper.

I like this, I wasn’t expecting the peat to be so well integrated. A touch more Guyana influence would’ve been perfect, but the flavours develop on the palate in layers, each waiting their turn to stimulate the tasting experience. After tasting it I’m almost certain there’s Port Mourant distillate involved, yum!

Can be found on Master of Malt for £103.50 which might be a bit much, but I think most people that enjoy Islay whisky and rum would go crazy for this! I don’t even enjoy peated whisky and I love this expression.

Berry Bros & Rudd Diamond 2010 – 2021 Islay Cask Finish score:
Flavour/taste: 59/70
Value for money: 14/15
Transparency/purity: 14/15
Overall: 87/100


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