A.D. Rattray Staoisha 2013 57.4% ABV

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Named after Loch Staoisha on the Isle of Islay, this bottling comes 3 years on from the release of a sister cask in Cask Collection 58, is this heavily peated Bunnahabhain. Distilled at Bunnahabhain in a Bourbon Hogshead, this cask-strength whisky is limited to 300 bottles.

Appearance: Very light, diluted white wine. A lovely oily film coats the inside of the glass immediately upon swirling. Plenty of long teardrops and thick trails seep down the glass. The film becomes sticky and coins to the glass relentlessly.

Nose: Straight away the Bunnahabhain pedigree is evident. The sweet bonfire smoke from the peat is immediately obvious. Streaky bacon, maple syrup and mixed berries waft up from the glass too.
For a cask strength whisky, the ABV is carried very well. It’s definitely noticeable, but not interfering with the aromas in any way.
A subtle salinity also weaves through the nose, adding a nice balance against the smoke and fruit.

Palate: A semi-viscous mouthfeel. The ABV is more evident on the palate, with an immediate warming of the chest and spices tingling on the tongue, a faint drying too.
Black pepper, cinnamon and a ginger heat are accompanied by that glorious smoke and those fruit notes, pleasingly similar to the nose.
The dram has a very solid balance all the way through, from the first sniff to the last sip, is all there, but nothing dominates too much.
Tangy orange chocolate, like a Jaffa Cake but intensified, appears late on too.

Finish: The spices, smoke and that orange element linger for a medium to a long time. The smoke is the last thing to dissipate.

Overall: Banger. Purchased.

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