Cutty Sark was established on the 20th March 1923 with help from the famed wine merchants Berry Bros & Rudd. Whisky was becoming increasingly popular and the release of premium blended whisky was deemed to be a gainful proposition. The blend was created with only the best whiskies available, such were the wishes of Francis Berry, a senior partner who also insisted the whisky’s hue be of a light persuasion.
The name Cutty Sark was suggested by James McBey, a renowned artist who the Berry brothers had invited to lunch. Cutty Sark was named for the famed 19th century tea clipper, the fastest ship of its time and the name actually derives from the Gaelic for ‘short shirt’. The blend is an amalgam of around twenty single malt whiskies, most of which are from Speyside.
Glenrothes has long since been associated with the blend and Berry Bros and Rudd suggested it be launched as a single malt. The Cutty Sark blend is matured in oak casks for around six months before bottling. This marries the malt and grain whiskies effectively and is said to smooth out any harshness. Cutty Sark is one of the ten best-selling blended whiskies in the world and is hugely popular in the US.