A.D. Rattray bottled this 18-year-old single malt that was distilled in Orkney (though the precise distillery is still unknown). Without chill-filtration or additional colouring, the whisky was pulled from ex-bourbon barrels and bottled at 46% ABV.
Appearance: Light summer honey. With an orange hue.
Nice thick tide mark when swirled, lots of thick legs teardrops and a satisfying thick film.
Nose: The dram noses like a higher ABV whisky, I’d guess 50%ish, if tasted blind.
Smokey bacon (Frazzles), coastal salinity and vegetal harbour notes. Honey, barrel char, vanilla and oak.
Orchard fruits and buttery shortbread appear as the glass matures, along with dried strawberries, or maybe strawberry and cream sweets.
Palate: A lovely buttery mouthfeel. Sweet BBQ smoke is the immediate note tasted. This is followed by more buttery shortbread, salted butter, black pepper, chocolate and a touch of mild chilli.
The flavours are nice and well-balanced, but slightly diluted and muffled, so this could do with being about 5% stronger in my opinion. It’s got that spring water tinge that overlaps all others.
Finish: Short to medium. The salted butter lingers relentlessly. There’s a menthol cooling that appears during the finish too.
Overall: It’s a well-balanced dram with decent flavours but they feel held back, even at 46%. I really like the salted butter ripple running through the dram, it’s like drinking a freshly baked chocolate chip muffin!