­­­­­­A Taste of Northumberland’s History: the Percy Special

We are thrilled to celebrate our ongoing association with Alnwick Castle by expanding our esteemed “Percy” range of drinks. We have a new drink called the “Percy Special” to go with our popular rum and ginger drink, the Percy Warmer.

Unveiling the Percy Special: A Journey into History and Flavour

The Percy Special, a timeless classic with a whisky base, comes in at a warming 30% ABV. Its allure isn’t just in its flavour but also its intriguing history that takes us back to the illustrious Duke of Northumberland.

The “Percy” family has a connection to England’s noble past. It all began with William de Percy. He took part in the Norman conquest in the 11th century. This family has maintained its noble status in Northumberland history for centuries, with roots dating back to at least the 1300s.

Northumberland, the northernmost county of England, holds a unique place as one of the two border regions with Scotland. In the medieval era, this area was fervently contested, requiring its inhabitants to brave the elements and Scottish raiders.

Those who navigated these challenges relied heavily on their equestrian skills cultivated through hunting – a vital means of sustenance, particularly wild boar and venison. After extended hours in the chilly moorlands, it’s easy to imagine how hunting parties would seek respite from the bone-chilling cold while keeping their spirits and body temperature intact.

A creative solution was devised by the Duke of Northumberland himself. He introduced a toddy, a heartwarming alcoholic drink that demanded a well-stocked hip flask. His recipe combined Cherry Heering with Scotch whisky a blend that quickly gained popularity among those traversing his lands.

Despite Northumberland’s relative isolation, this drink, initially dubbed “chisky,” rapidly became a household name among the young elite of London. It wasn’t until the 10th Duke assumed the mantle of the dukedom in the 1940s that the concoction, which still carries his name, officially became known as the Percy Special.

Reviving Tradition: The Percy Special in Modern Times

Our rendition of the Percy Special impeccably captures the essence of the original blend – a harmonious marriage of scotch whisky, cherry, and brandy. This elixir offers ideal comfort on cold days, especially following outdoor activities relaxation such as fishing, horseback riding, golfing, cycling, and more. Although times have evolved and the necessity for hunting has faded, the tradition of guiding packs of hounds, skilfully managed by horseback riders, endures as a core facet of local culture and heritage.

In fact, to this day, the Duke of Northumberland maintains a kennel of hounds situated along the picturesque banks of the Aln River scenery, just downstream from the iconic Alnwick Castle association. These hounds, often seen during their exercise routines, bear witness to the ongoing tradition, with riders savouring refreshing moments (and indulging in Percy Specials) at renowned country hostelries sampling their refreshments along their route.

Embrace the Legacy: Savour the Percy Special

We extend a heartfelt invitation to you, encouraging you to experience the delightful fusion of cherry, brandy, and scotch whisky within our meticulously crafted ‘Percy Special.’ Whether you seek warmth or relaxation, sipping this elixir slowly will transport you through Northumberland heritage. As history attests, Northumbria’s legacy Anglo-Saxon history, under the reign of King Edwin, stretched as far north as the Forth, where today’s Edinburgh’s origin stands as a testament to the region’s enduring legacy.