Scholarly, edifying, epicurean, congenial… Justerini & Brooks’ new Taste of Distinction programme will elevate participants’ appreciation of rare, phenomenal whisky expressions. Where do we sign?
Tod Bradbury, the Head of Rare and Collectable Whiskies at Justerini & Brooks, at the label’s spiritual home on St. James’s Street in London. Photographed by Gary Morrisroe

Connoisseurs who relate to the sobriquet ‘liquid sunshine’ — bestowed upon whisky by the bottle-bothering Irish dramatist George Bernard Shaw — may, each time they stroll down St. James’s Street in London, imagine they can see a golden miasma around the premises of Justerini & Brooks, especially in the run-up to their annual Cask of Distinction programme, a celebration of ultra-rare, exceptional whiskies that guides participants to the pinnacle of various distilleries’ output.

The programme takes the concept of astute, informed curation into the stratosphere. Each year, four master blenders congregate at the wonderfully named Liquid Library at the Diageo archives in Scotland. Using their combined judgment and expertise — the sum of which, aggregated, would take a couple of lifetimes to accumulate — they’re tasked with bringing together the most exceptional liquids from Diageo’s cherished stocks across 50 warehouses in Scotland. Age, scarcity, idiosyncrasy and nuance in character are all subject to rigorous evaluation over 4,000 hours, with findings over many years integrated to ensure that the whiskies — at precisely the moment they reveal a distinctive quality — are brought to light.


    November 2021


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