A.D. Rattray Invergordon 15yo 2007 58.5% ABV

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This single-grain Scotch whisky from Invergordon is 15 years old and was distilled in 2007. It underwent an experimental finish, aged for over three years in an oloroso sherry-seasoned wine barrique that had previously held a smoky sherried Islay whisky from the A.D Rattray collection. This is a cask-strength release, with only 324 bottles available.

Appearance: Sun-bleached wheat. A tide mark consisting heavily of small teardrops. A viscous film with thick oozy trails forms and seeps towards the surface.

Nose: A nice level of ethanol. For the strength, the ABV is carried well, but it’s noticeable as a cask-strength whisky. Honey and vanilla ice cream forward, with fermenting apples, pencil shavings, and lightly smouldering wood. There are a few mixed penny chew notes floating about, adding some nice fruity confectionary sweetness too. The nose is a typically sweet and friendly affair from a grain whisky.

Palate: A pleasant mouthfeel, fairly oily. Citrus, heaps of peppery spice, tingling chili, and red berries ignite the taste buds, it’s pretty full-on. Some savoury smoke, gentle oak, and cherry emerge next. A vegetal note appears now too. An odd element is present, maybe cardboard. The palate is a little ‘flat’ and one-dimensional for me.

Finish: Long. The spices, vanilla, and a little drying last for quite a while. That cardboard note also lingers.

Overall: It’s a pretty heavy grain-whisky. The nose suggests a far more friendly whisky than the palate. I’d like to see the evolution of a bottle as I think it would open up and mellow with time. So far as the sample is concerned, I liked its sweeter notes but wasn’t sure about that odd cardboard element.

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