BRIG O’PERTH 14yo Blend
December 2021 sees the (re)launch of one of Perthshire’s original ‘grocer’s blends’, the BRIG O’ PERTH, on its 125th Anniversary.
Only 1,125* bottles will be made available from two casks of Blended Scotch, aged for 14 years and personally selected by founder of The Whisky Cellar, Keith Bonnington and Master Whisky Maker, Max McFarlane. These are being offered firstly to select retailers in Perthshire and a small number of loyal Whisky Cellar customers.
*1,125 is not a marketing gimmick to celebrate 125 years. Curiously, as the whiskies were selected and vatted together, they filled the casks with 368.17 litres of alcohol at natural cask strength. Reducing this slightly to our bottling strength of 46.7% alc. will give us exactly 1,125 bottles (70cl).
BRIG O’ PERTH was first blended and bottled by Perth wine merchant and grocer, Matthew Gloag & Son, in the basement of their shop at 20-24 Atholl Street in early 1896 as their “house blended Scotch”. It quickly achieved local (and wider) acclaim and was distributed as the whisky of choice to family gatherings and high society parties right across the county. The first real ‘marketing’ of the brand appeared in Matthew Gloag’s Christmas brochure in 1896. It appeared again a year later alongside another brand which he had created some months after The Brig, The Grouse Brand….which was to become the more ‘Famous’ sibling over the years that followed. Brig O’ Perth was blended and bottled in the family shop at 20-24 Atholl Street, Perth now home to a funeral directors.
Keith said “BRIG O’ PERTH has enjoyed only occasional bottlings over the last 50 years or so, but it was privilege for me to be able to acquire the brand from Edrington Distillers (which owns The Famous Grouse), a company I spent 11 great years working for, based at the now-closed West Kinfauns, Perth office.
I am honouring the original label by re-creating the illustration of the majestic Old Perth Bridge, the meandering River Tay and the grand Georgian townhouses and church steeple towers of Tay Street. The original illustration of the Old Perth Bridge (built by John Smeaton in 1771) appeared on Matthew Gloag’s ‘Brig O’Perth’ and has been re-drawn to adorn every bottle label once again BRIG O’ PERTH ‘Special Anniversary Blend’ is being bottled by The Whisky Cellar as a classic ‘Old Highland’ style Blended Scotch with an uncommonly high malt content.
Carefully matured for a minimum of 14 years, the malt whiskies were sampled from a number of Highland distilleries, the very same from which Matthew Gloag would have selected his ‘house blend’ back in 1896. 2022 will see the launch of Series No/1 of our Brig O’ Perth Blended Scotch ‘Small batch’ bottlings.
The old Matthew Gloag & Son maturation warehouse at Kinnoull Street, now a multi-storey car park, hotel and Perth Council offices Bordeaux House on Kinnoull Street, once the offices of Matthew Gloag & Son, now a restaurant “Sadly, the big merchants, blenders, bottlers and bonds that once made Perth a hot-bed of Scotch whisky production, have left the Fair City in all but name. Without doubt, the names of Gloag, Bell, Dewar and Thompson contributed majorly to the development of the city but, while time and “progress” moves things on in one direction, fond memory and nostalgia moves them in another….and I often look back the way for my inspiration.
I’ll never bring the glory days of Scotch back singlehandedly but I would love to be able to contribute something to Perth and Perthshire with this historic relaunch.”