Cutty Sark: 100 years in full sail

Launched in 1923 by the owners of feted wine merchant Berry Bros. & Rudd, Cutty Sark was intended to be a lighter, easy-drinking blended whisky that could be mixed as well as drunk neat.

Cutty Sark set sail across the world and proved to be an enduring success, becoming the first Scotch whisky to sell a million cases in the US in 1961. Part of its success was undoubtedly its instantly recognisable label which its designer, celebrated artist James McBey, had originally intended to be white — it’s only thanks to a printing error that it gained its distinctive yellow!

Cutty Sark 12 Year Old

Relaunched in 2022 as Cutty Sark gears up for its centenary, this 12 Year Old blended Scotch has been formulated to be as close to the original as possible.

Matured in a combination of bourbon and sherry casks, it offers aromas of Seville orange, pear drops and salted butter, followed by flavours of mango, dried fruit, ginger, clove and sea salt.

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About The Cutty Sark

The Cutty Sark, which you can see on display on display at Royal Museums Greenwich in London, was one of the last and fastest tea clippers to be built. She was launched from the River Leven in Dumbarton, Scotland, in 1869 and operated as a cargo ship until 1922, when she was used as a training ship. The years 1938-54 saw her operating as a cadet ship alongside HMS Worcester, following which she was transferred to a dry dock in Greenwich for public display.

The Cutty Sark is of great historical significance, being one of only three surviving 19th century composite clipper ships, and has required extensive conservation over the years. Fittingly, one of the contributors to the conservation effort was Berry Bros. & Rudd, creators of the brand which took the ship as inspiration.

Cutty Sark Whisky: The next 100 years

In recent years Cutty Sark has launched several bottlings celebrating its history. Prohibition, which nods towards its years being smuggled into the US in the 1920s and 30s, and the 12 Year Old, celebrating an original recipe.

As it looks towards its next 100 years, Cutty Sark is committed to retaining its original aim of creating light, easy-drinking whiskies that are perfect for mixing as well as sipping. Whatever the future holds, it’s clear they’ll continue to make waves in the world of whisky.