Englishman Mark Reynier is distilling a whisky made with a 3,000-year-old variety of barley on the Isle of Islay. Called "bere", it is the oldest known cereal and was taken to the Hebrides by the Vikings. Burns referred to it in his poem Gude Allan o'Maut, one of his many ballads about riotous drinking. But nobody knows whether it will be any good for making whisky. Reassuringly, Reynier says it smells good and "very nutty", but admits there is "every possibility it might be bloody awful". The Sunday Telegraph 22/01/06 (Business) page 8