Finally an excursion to Islay. As with last year there is a need to sprinkle the calendar with regular stops to the Isle of all things smoky and peaty.
There are those whisky drinkers out there that just literally impatiently work their way through everything else just so they can get their dosage of peat.
Today we have a single cask offering at cask strength from renowned independent bottlers A.D. Rattray.
Caol Ila is by far the largest distillery on Islay pumping out more production than the rest of the distilleries on this small island put together. Invariably Caol Ila is the most easily accessible for independent bottlers to get their hands on and so there are a lot of unique expressions floating around. Founded in 1846 Caol Ila makes up the major proportion of peated whisky for the Johnnie Walker blends.
A.D. Rattray Caol Ila 2006 – 9 Year Old cask number 303050 bottled at 56.7% ABV – Bourbon Hogshead Cask
AD Rattray 2006 Caol Ila 9yo
Colour: Super light, washed straw
Nose: Smoked Haddock, a strong scent of those stretchy latex gym bands that you fight with and sweat over to get just the right amount of resistance. Pepper and balsamic reduction and burning cedar.
Palate: Ash and burning rubber kind of imagining what it would be like to be standing on a formally packed freeway in an apocalyptic aftermath. Searching for fruit here and finding a small parcel of foil wrapped orange pieces that have been baked under fireplace coals.
Finish: Subtlety here still as it breaks over the palate like peaty softly salted coastal waters. Young Islay like this has proven the adage that older is not necessarily better.
My friend and fellow blogger Joshua Hatton is blogging side by side with me this year as our special guest. Be sure to check out his take on the A.D. Rattray Caol Ila 2006 HERE.
On this day last year in the 1st Edition we tasted A.D. Rattray Stronachie 10 Blog #37
You can find 60 bottles of this humdinger of a little Islay from A.D. Rattray at the following peat soaked retailers:
Hope that all you Islay maniacs are appeased for at least for another few days. Tomorrow we head back to higher regions to try another resurgent distillery.
Looking forward to the week ahead.