The beautiful photos courtesy of Edward Milner (@MrEdwardMilner)
Last night, I had the privilege of attending the latest Tweet Tasting, with the wonderful A.D. Rattray. We were presented with five, “bin ends,’” from the Warehouse Collection Range, described as, “part casks leftover from other projects or from moving whisky from a larger cask to a different type of cask, for finishing.’
A.D. Rattray have a fascinating backstory that mirrors much of the trials and tribulations of the Scottish whisky industry throughout the years. Founded in 1868 as a grocery store, A.D. Rattray develops a strong distribution network, but his death in 1910, and the economic disasters of the 1920’s led to the sale of the business to William Walker. The company survives World War II, and by the 1950’s, now in the hands of Stanley P. Morrison, become part of a whisky enterprise, with the purchase of Sheriff’s Bowmore Islay Distillery among others. By 1989, Suntory purchase a stake and later take full control.
With this rich whisky heritage in mind, it was inevitable that the tasting would be of the highest quality. The packaging was exquisite, with each sample dipped in red wax, and a letter explaining each of the 5 drams.
The night began with the Knockdhu 10 year old, bottled at cask strength 54.1%. The nose had hints of lemon, peppermint and mint toffee. Palate wise, chocolate, lemon again, butterscotch and vanilla.
Glenrothes 12 year old followed, at a whopping 67.5%. Light on the nose for the ABV, lots of orange and cinnamon. The palate was a delight – buttery, fruity, but unsurprisingly needed water.
The Orkney 11 year old at 58% had an amazing seaside nose, salty and peppery. The palate was surprising – honey, cinnamon and apricot.
Next up was the Ardmore 9 year old – for me the pick of the bunch. Young and spiky, burnt pears on the nose and a long smoky finish.
Lastly, the Williamson 8 year old at 59% did exactly what it said on the tin – peat. Dark chocolate and caramel, think of a campfire on a cold night.
Great craic and a great evening, Tweet tastings are a fantastic opportunity to try whisky you may not usually gravitate towards, and if this tasting is anything to go by, I will be a regular follower of A.D. Rattray.