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5th Edition Scotch Whisky Advent Calendar Day 19 – Singlemalting # 216 – A.D. Rattray Williamson (Laphroaig) 13 Year Old

Welcome again peat pilgrims to another Islay jaunt along our Scotch Whisky Adventure. Today’s dram comes from a big hitting distillery when thinking about the level of peating the barley undergoes. Laphroaig was founded in 1815 and is now owned by Beam Suntory. Located at the Southern tip of Islay Laphroaig is as coastal as it gets and is constantly lashed by the wind and waves of the Atlantic where it meets the Irish Sea through the North Channel. Unlike the Day 6 dram from Exclusive Malts this A.D. Rattray bottling is somewhat disclosed with the Williamson name that is known throughout the industry as Laphroaigs nickname.

 

Laphroaig Distillery

This is also a great opportunity to compare Laphroaig in a Sherry Cask with Exclusive Malts and in a Bourbon cask with A.D. Rattray. This cask also comes in at full cask strength as opposed to the Exclusive Malts 50% slightly watered down bottling strength.

Colour:           Pale again for 13 years and lends itself to thinking of refill Bourbon. I’m really interested to see what a soft cask influence is going to do to the massively flavorful Laphroaig spirit after 13 years.

Nose:              Ok ladies and gentlemen this here has every medicinal element that a whisky from Islay can impart into a wee bottle. Wow just an absolutely huge assault on the senses. Charred bandages from the hospital disposal unit that takes care of burning blood soaked operating room waste. Loads of earthy peat and dirty rubber lining the floor. Barely able to push through it all is a little bees wax candle burning brightly.

Palate:           Does not dissapoint. This has everything the nose promises and more. This is why cask strength is the bomb. Laphroaig quarter cask has nothing on this. I’m getting all of the medicine combined with layer after layer of big palate bombs. Peat, Iodine, Smoke, Peat again. Tobacco. Rubber. Burning electric panel.

Finish:          The explosion is over but the smoldering remains of the now destroyed hospital swirl and ascend into a darkened sky.

Drinking this whisky be like:      Boom

Fantastic stuff. This epic cask of Laphroaig should make even the biggest peat head very, very happy.

Thanks A.D. Rattray for offering up this beauty.

On this day in the 4th edition we also paid homage to the peat gods with a much younger and feistier Laphroaig 5 Year Old from A.D. Rattray.

Tomorrow we will be into slightly more epic territory if you can believe that with all remaining drams being no younger than 18 years old. Day 20 is an offering by the boys of Single Cask Nation and will take us to the Islands region of Scotland. Ferry time ladies and gents.

Dont forget to head over to the Whisky Vault and Scotch Test Dummies to watch them get their peat on. Especially Bart from Scotch Test Dummies who has a self confessed abused palate from over peating and Daniel who has basically put up with all this Speyside and Highland nonsense waiting for the next Islay.

Until then peaty drammers have a great night

Cheers

Jonathan

 

Singlemalting # 203 – 5th Edition Scotch Whisky Advent Calendar Day 6 – Exclusive Malts Regional Islay Sherry Cask

Here be some Peat for the People. I understand…you’ve been waiting paitently and smirking with restrained amusement as we talk about “delicate complexity” and the incredible array of flavor to be found in Scotch Whisky. All the while we really needed to be schooled in what “real” Scotch is all about, right? Big peaty, smoky, briny, boggy monsters that terrorize towns, devour the countryside and destroy tastebuds. There is certainly no more polarizing category of Scotch Whisky than that which involves the abundant use of one of Scotland’s most plentiful natural resources. Love it or hate it you cannot ignore the fact that there is no other whisky style in the world that lights such a fire in your mouth and slowly burns you down from the inside out with an incredible warmth and flavor that leaves us all begging for more.

Today as we wander off the ferry, we grasp in out hot little hands a bottle of Islay Magnificence. Bottled by David Stirk of Exclusive Malts this fully sherry matured Islay Single Malt comes from the Laphroaig distillery so is right up there with the highest levels of peat in Scotland. This here little dram should make even the heartiest of peat fans happy.

Recently David successfully sold his company to overseas interests so this may be the last time we get to bottle something from him so it is only apt that we go out with a bang.

Laphroaig Distillery

Laphroaig is one of only 9 distilleries on Islay and was founded in 1815 by Donald and Alexander Johnston. Trading hands many times over the years it is now owned by the Japanese alcohol giant Suntory who aquired Beam in 2014. With a great visitors center Laphroaig is a major attraction for any Islay whisky hunter. In 1994 they started the friends of Laphroaig whereby visitors could purchase a square foot of Laphroaig land and in return receive the rent of one dram of Laphroaig each year when visiting the distillery.

Laphroaig Pagoda Chimney

Exclusive Malts Regional Series Islay – Refill Sherry Cask – 50% Alcohol – Laphroaig Distillery

Colour:          Some darker tinges here that point at least a touch to the refill sherry cask that this Laphroaig spent its life in.

Nose:             Bart from Scotch Test Dummies should be a happy man today as he has a self confessed peat obsession. For my substantial shnoz I am getting salty, smoked, pork crackling with a a rich red wine jus poured over everything. My oh my this is an inviting nose. Tailing in at the end is the coastal medicine that helps the whisky go down.

Palate:           All of the above and more. Actually softer than I was anticipating with the 50% ABV. The sherry infuence seems to enhance that sweet medicine and the smoky salty layer ebbs and flows with charred sweet pork holding it all together.

Finish:          Laphroaig always seems to take me to Porky places….. with BBQ. Especially when it’s aged in Sherry casks for some reason. Perhaps the added sweetness from the sherry influence and pork is such a sweet BBQ meat. This is a delicious Laphroaig and the finish is just lingering and yummy. What a great potentially last dram from Exclusive Malts. I understand that there are a few bottles of this to be had from K&L in California so if you are keen jump on it before it’s never seen again. Sorry Canada.

On day 6 of our 4th edition we had the delicate Samaroli Glenallachie 8 Year Old.

Head straight over to the Whisky Vault and Scotch Test Dummies and watch today’s video’s…..seriously what are you waiting for get over there.

Tomorrow we find something from yummy from Alex Bruce at Adelphi. Hold onto your hats sherry fans.

Until then drammers

Cheers

Jonathan

 

whisky advent calendar

Singlemalting #185 – Day 19 – 4th Edition SWAC – A.D. Rattray Williamson (Laphroaig) 5yo

So before we slip into some comfy slippers & contemplate the days before Christmas I felt it was time for something young, sultry and smokin from our friends at A.D. Rattray.

Williamson is the industry term for casks of Laphroaig that are not supposed to be disclosed. It is such common knowledge however that posting this here is by no means in violation of any secrecy. Like many Islay whiskies young Laphroaig can be amazing. Actually Islay distilleries in general tend to show the best of all Scotch whisky regions at a younger age.

Laphroaig is a distillery that was established in 1815 and was owned by the Johnstone family. After Ian Hunter the last surviving family member of that line passed away in 1954 he willed Laphroaig to one of his managers Bessie Williamson (at last the connection). After being acquired by Beam it then became part of the Suntory holdings when Beam was purchased in 2014.

Laphroaig Distillery

So for all of us Islay fans lets have at er.

A.D. Rattray Williamson (Laphroaig) 5 Year Old Single Malt aged in a sherry cask number 130 at the cask strength of 61% without colour or chill filtration.

Colour:   Very light for a sherry cask so probably a 2nd fill even after only 5 years.

Nose:    Go carefully at this one people the Spey glass gives this nose a real focus so ease into it softly. Salty cured Prosciutto, soft blue cheese and chutney.

Palate:    Ok any thought I had that this was going to be a relaxing before dinner charcuterie plate went up in smoke. Heavy medicinal peat but with some sherry notes kicking it up a notch.

Finish:    There is a lot to like about how this unfolds. Finish is softer than I thought it would be and warming to boot. I still get that sweet chutney character and the medicine is sure nice going down.

This is a humdinger of a young Islay. Just enough influence on that sherry Butt after 5 years to add some delicious complexity to this Laphroaig.

On day 19 in the 3rd edition we had the Samaroli Miltonduff/Tormore 20 year old combo malt.

So tomorrow is the start of nothing but at least 20 year old’s from here till Christmas. I’m sure that we’ll be seeing you tomorrow. In the meantime check out Scotch Trooper again. I might have to make a scrap book out of these shots.

Until the morrow

Cheers

Singlemalting