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John Rae Arctic Explorer

ABV : 54.8%

Volume : 700ml

We have now sold out of John Rae | Arctic Explorer on our online shop.

We created this fine whisky to celebrate the single-minded spirit of adventure, the innate connection between land and sea, and the curiosity that shapes our world, as epitomised by Orkney-born explorer, John Rae. Today regarded as the leading authority on Arctic travel and survival in the Victorian age, John grew up in these islands, perhaps defined by Orkney’s unforgiving terrain, tempestuous seas and wild weather, to become the man who would map over 1,750 miles of uncharted Arctic coast on foot or alone in a small boat.

In 2019, our Master Whisky Maker, Gordon Motion, selected predominantly ex-bourbon casks and refill casks, along with smaller quantities of sherry seasoned American and European oak casks, to create a bold and complex flavour profile. He married the casks together, leaving the whisky to mature for a further two years to deliver A Wild Harmony of toasted vanilla, caramelised grapefruit and honeyed peat smoke flavours.

Naturally golden, clear and bright in colour, John Rae Arctic Explorer opens with enticing aromas of heather honey, sweet flowering currant and just a suggestion of charred driftwood in the background. Delicious notes of whipped vanilla cream and toffee sponge cake owe much to the influence of the ex-bourbon casks, while fruitier notes of caramelised grapefruit and citrus zest are driven by the sherry seasoned casks. A sweet breath of aromatic peat smoke lingers at the end.

This whisky’s distinctive packaging was designed with specially commissioned illustrations from Nick Hayes, whose expressive work is influenced by his passion for harmony with land and sea. Proceeds from the sale will support the restoration of the Hall of Clestrain, John Rae’s boyhood home in Orphir, Orkney.



Light golden, clear and bright


Heather honey | Sweet flowering currant | Charred driftwood | Whipped vanilla cream | Toffee sponge cake | Caramelised grapefruit | Citrus zest | Aromatic peat smoke

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Explore the depth, character and complex balance of our award-winning whiskies and experience a wild harmony of flavours in every one.