While Prohibition presented a problem for most Americans in 1920, the ban on the sale of alcohol became an opportunity for the owners of London wine and spirit merchant Berry Bros. & Rudd.
It was on 23 March 1923 that the Berry’s partners decided to create a new brand of blended Scotch whisky to appeal to American drinkers – Cutty Sark, named after the famous British clipper ship that had recently docked in London. During the latter part of that year cases of Cutty Sark were smuggled into the US to appease demand from drinkers with exquisite tastes – unsatisfied with the often foul-tasting moonshine liquor that were dark from added caramel colour, they sought something more refined in goods smuggled into the country.
By the time Prohibition was repealed in 1933 Cutty Sark was already a well-established brand, making exports an easy ride for Berry Bros. & Rudd – less than 30 years later in 1961 Cutty Sark became the first Scotch whisky to sell over one million cases in the US.
Cutty Sark is part of the French independent group founded in 1934, La Martiniquaise, one of the world’s top 10 spirits groups with a large portfolio of international brands.