South West Scotland’s Ayrshire is home to independent whisky bottler A D Rattray. The business was founded by Andrew Dewar Rattray, who gave it its name. He began his career, like many others in the whisky industry, as a general merchant who imported wine in addition to ageing and blending whisky.
Appearance: White dessert wine. A chaotic briefly beaded tide mark. The beads quickly seep and morph into slack teardrops. A thin film clings to the glass for a short while.
Nose: A heady wave of alcohol rises from the glass, unsurprisingly given the strength.
Mixed roasted nuts, a distant ashy smokiness and some subtle lemon drop barley and citrus.
The nose is also quite perfumed, it’s a very inviting start to the dram that only builds the anticipation of moving into the palate.
Palate: As with the palate, a good heart from the ethanol quickly tingles the side of the mouth and heats the chest.
Lemon pepper, some pink grapefruit and blood orange and black pepper emerged first, along with the faintest of drying.
Some liquorice and sherbet creep in towards the finish, like a sherbet fountain.
Finish: The liquorice, citrus, some chocolate and grapefruit linger for a decent amount of time. The final note is lime-encrusted chocolate, which makes me want more.
Overall: Not my favourite from AD Rattray, but it’s still a damn good whisky, it’s just that they’ve set such a high precedent. It’s well-balanced and has a great flavour profile, I just prefer sweeter whiskies.