Versailles 1985 Berry Brothers and Rudd 17 Year Old
Berry Brothers and Rudd is a firm steeped in history. They were established in the late 17th century, and received a Royal Warrant from King Edward VII in 1903. The company has been bottling single malt whisky from almost as early as that, and produced their first ever blend, Cutty Sark, in 1923.
This was distilled in 1985 and matured for 17 years before being bottled.
The Enmore sugar estate was established by Edward Henry Porter in the early 19th century after he inherited and converted his father’s cotton plantation on the east bank of the Demerara river. Once one of many in the area, by the time the government in Guyana had begun to nationalise and consolidate the country’s rum production in 1974, it was one of only four remaining. The traditional still at Enmore was the historic two-column wooden coffey still, constructed back in 1880 and modelled almost exactly after the first continuous still patented by Aeneas Coffey in 1832. This however was distilled on the Versailles single wooden pot still, moved to Enmore from its eponymous distillery after its closure in 1974. It is constructed from Greenheart wood, which is native to Guyana and is mostly used in boat-building due to its ability to remain strong while constantly wet. The wood is also well suited to distilling, stripping spirit of sulphites in the same manner that copper does. Enmore was eventually closed by Demerara Distillers in 1994, and both stills were moved to Uitvlugt. Today they remain operational as the “Heritage Stills” at Diamond, the only remaining distillery in the country.