Lizzie Rudd, our Chairman, was behind the idea to create a range of Ronnie’s Reserve to mark 30 years of my association with Berry Bros & Rudd and the distillery from which the selection of casks originated. They have been bottled as a result of collective investment: Berry Bros & Rudd Funds and my Understanding! In selecting these casks I used the criteria of good taste. Whilst this is, obviously, subjective, I always look for exceptional attributes in maturity, balance, flavour, complexity, texture and delivery. The difference between the good and the great is the magical combination of all of these. Then, there is the character of the distillery; there is no point in disguising the natural elegance of this noble and, what I like to call ‘Premier Cru’ distillery spirit, with sherry or wood. Enhance, yes but disguise, no. To become familiar with the best that this Speyside distillery could produce, I have had the enviable task, over 30 years, of nosing several hundred casks. These seven casks are truly outstanding - superb examples of the excellence of the bloodline in each of their decades. I didn’t need the keys to the distillery, a bung remover and a nosing glass. I had had my eye on these casks for many years. They are but a very small offering from thousands of casks in our possession. My tasting notes of drawn samples would change from time to time as they matured in their wooden homes and I was determined that the style of whisky should reflect the changing styles of production and cask marriage over the four decades.