A.D. Rattray Auchentoshan 18 Year, Distilled 1990, Bottled 2009 @ 56.5%
This whisky had a lot to live up to in my mind. First, A.D. Rattray has been consistently one of my favorite independent bottlers. The whiskies they release have a way of being very unique while at the same time not losing the distillery flavors that we like. Some independent releases get too far away from the basic distillery flavor profile. What also sticks out in my mind about A.D Rattray bottlings is the viscosity. Both the Balblair and Bowmore bottlings were thick and chewey (if you can get that from a liquid?). A.D. Rattray is relatively new to the independent bottling arena even though the business itself was founded in 1868. You can read more about the company here.
Second, I am a big fan of the lowlands. It is a weird dichotomy as I love diving head first into the peat bog, even better if it is at cask strength! But I also really enjoy the soft subtle flavors of the lowlands. Auchentoshan distillery releases haven’t wow’d me in the past however. In any event, here we go!
Color – Light, pale yellow
Nose – Honey, medicinal, malt, a lot of straw, baked sweets like a sugar cookie
Palate – Full mid tongue weight, apples, a distinct sweetness, heather, floral tones, the heat comes through well
Finish – long and lingering on the heather and sweetness.
A great balance of subtle flavors with the punch of cask strength. I really like this whisky.