Origin: Orkney (Scotland)
Type: Single Malt Scotch Whisky
Gradation: 46 %ABV
Ageing casks: Ex-Bourbon
Added colouring: No
Owner: A. D. Rattray Ltd.
Average price: € 100.00
Official website: www.adrattray.com
With today’s whisky we introduce a new independent bottler to the blog: A.D. Rattray. New on these pages but not on the international scene, if you consider that the company was founded by Andrew Dewar Rattray in 1868. In the beginning, revenues came from the importation of French wines, Italian liqueurs and olive oil, but over time, overcoming crises of no small magnitude, A. D. Rattray, led today by Stanley Walker Morrison, was able to establish itself also in the field of whisky. Its current range of products is divided, as is often the case, into different series and is characterised by a rather high average quality.
The Cask of Scotland series, to which today’s whisky belongs, is made up of limited releases from undeclared distilleries and was created with the intention of capturing, and returning to the drinker, a sort of exemplary profile of the single malts of each region. So far a Speyside 12yo Sherry Finish Cask, a Speyside 10yo Cask, an Islay Cask, an Islay Bourbon Edition Cask Strenght and an Orkney 18yo Cask have been released. It is the latter that we pour into the glass.
When it comes to the Orkney Islands, it ‘s never too difficult to guess which distillery it comes from: we’ll just suggest that its name begins with an “eich”.
Matured in ex-Bourbon, natural colour, no chillfiltration, 46% ABV. All the prerequisites for a high level of drinking are there.
The colour closely resembles that of green tea.
It may be a coincidence (or a wholly personal suggestion), but the first sensation on the nose is precisely that of green tea, with touches of aniseed and liquorice root. At least in the first part of the olfactory examination, the general impression, which is indeed quite fascinating, is that of a walk in the woods while it’s raining: wet grass, damp earth and a vague scent of pine resin (or pine itself). Over time, a memory of dried apricot and white grapes emerge, with a spicy hint of cloves, bound together by a light thread of smoke. After several minutes, a composite and radically different set of fragrances asserts itself: a note of slightly sour pear and of bergamot zest, but also hints of icing sugar and butter biscuits.
In the mouth the music changes, at least in part: the pear and butter biscuits remain, but a really important citrus note of yellow orange tends to take over, with a slight hint of smoke in the background. A memory of angel cake takes us back a few years to the best part of our childhood, while a touch of ginger opens the door to a decidedly long finish in which, alongside the Granny Smith apple, we find a slightly more intense smoke, which is the authentic trademark of the mysterious distillery.
A sophisticated whisky that systematically avoids banality, designed for discerning drinkers willing to take risks and which, by the way, is marketed at an unrepeatable price for a bottle of this calibre.