A.D.Rattray Blair Athol 2009 13yo 56.7% ABV

ADRattray Blair Athol 2009 13yo

Matured in a Bourbon Hogshead for over 10 years over and 3 years in an Oloroso sherry-seasoned wine barrique from Bodegas Hidalgo – La Gitana (Cask Islay Sherry Edition Barrique).

Appearance: Apple juice. A medium thick swirl line with many long teardrops and medium/thick trails. After a short while, the swirl mark beads a little more.

Nose: A nice hit from the ABV. Honey, wood spices, orchard fruits and an understated funk appear upon the first sniff.
The funk continues to grow, along with the emergence of blackberries, kiwi and non-descript tropical fruits.
There’s a subtle wave of sweet spices and black pepper, adding another layer and some balance.

Palate: Lovely mouthfeel. Honey, tannins, vanilla and white pepper (verging on chilli).
The ABV is much more prominent on the palate, introducing a nice chest warming.
Chargrilled pineapple, grapefruit and those blackberries are still evident, albeit now dusted with pepper.
Some confectionery sweetness does come through as an undercurrent.

Finish: Long. The pepper, chargrilled tropical fruits and confectionery sugar last the longest. Spice is the dominant element.

Overall: It’s an interesting and complex dram. I’d like to see how a bottle develops over time. The funk on the nose and tropical fruits are lovely. There’s just enough spice to balance too.

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