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Scotch Whisky Advent Calendar 3rd Edition Day 10 Blog #144 – A.D. Rattray Glenallachie 8 Year Old

Day 10 and we are starting to really get into this editions heart. There have been some really delicious drams so far and I’m looking forward to the rest of the ride.

Back today with A.D. Rattray the first independent bottler I ever spent time in the market with. Owned by Industry legend Tim Morrison, A. D. Rattray was founded in 1868. Born of a love for the industry after lying dormant for decades A.D. Rattray has been rebuilt by Tim into a world class independent bottler. They are now going to be adding distilling back into the Morrison plan with the opening of the Clydeside distillery in Glasgow.

Glenallachie Distillery
Glenallachie Distillery

Glenallachie is owned by Pernod Ricard and was built in 1967 (just a touch older than me). In the town of Aberlour at the foot of Ben Rinnes. Most of its production goes into blends including the cask strength Clan Campbell and Legendary and White Heather.

The distillery uses mostly lightly peated barley for it’s production so it will be interesting to see if we pick any of that up in today’s dram.

A.D. Rattray Glenallachie
A.D. Rattray Glenallachie

A.D. Rattray Glenallachie 2007 – 8 Year Old Single Malt aged in a sherry cask # 900831 and bottled at the huge mark of 64.9% making this the absolute stand out winner of the highest ABV in any calendar edition to date. It’s so fun that we are finding these special casks that are lurking beasts hiding out in dunnage warehouses for unsuspecting whisky drinkers to pass by.

Color:   I’m suspecting a second or re-fill sherry cask on this one even at 8 years of age as a first fill cask would normally impart a little more. SLightly amber to reddish hue the only sign of sherry here.

Nose:   Go gently into the fray people there be monsters about. Quite closed initially and I think my tameness due to the ABV is stopping me from getting my considerable appendage deep into the glass. OK here goes….. could be my mind playing tricks here but I do detect a hint of earthy smoke here sitting atop a deep vein of Oak and Barley.

Palate:  Yep it’s big and lets you know all about just how big a stick it has. Really coating with a touch of zest sipping off the tongue betraying all of the 64.9% worth of octane rating. Simmers down quite quickly though and allows some tea biscuits and raisin scones to come through.

Finish:  Dry sherry here and a lasting tingle kind of like the aftermath of chewing on a particularly juicy and hot jalapeno.

Just had to water this and hey presto just like magic a whole bag of fruity goodness erupts. Satsuma plums and deep red ripe watermelon but all with that smoky edge still present. The mouthfeel is immediately creamier and softer and the raisin scone is still there but this time with a healthy dollop of fresh farm cream and a dash of aged balsamic on top.

This is exactly why cask strength is so awesome. Please play with this as much as you want as there are plenty of layers to find with more watering here.

Unfortunately there are no full bottles available. You can console yourself with the knowledge that the big ABV means with more watering you get almost twice the amount of whisky.

In the 2nd edition on this day we had the Samaroli Islay Blended Malt which you can revisit here.

Whiskylassie has been having almost as much fun anticipating her daily dram as she has drinking it. Catch up with her take on today’s whisky here.

Tomorrow we head back to those fun folks at Wemyss Malts for another special limited release. If the popularity of the Velvet Fig last year is anything to go by this should be excellent.

Looking forward to your splendid company then

Slainte

Jonathan – taster of secrets

Scotch Whisky Advent Calendar 3rd Edition Day 8 Blog #141 – Malt Whisky Company Glenrothes 8 Year Old

G’day Sherry Cask lovers…. Today is for you. The peat geeks get their hit every week so shouldn’t you have a turn on a regular basis?

In the bustling (I use that term lightly as Scotland is generally anything but) region of Speyside where most of the Scottish distilleries exist there is one that keeps making appearances in our calendars. Glenrothes seen by many as a fairly innocuous house style has really shined for us with these single cask independently bottled expressions.

The Malt Whisky owned by Scottish legend extraordinaire Stuart Nickerson was one of the big hits in the 2nd edition showcasing especially how amazing younger Single Malt can be.

Glenrothes was built in 1878 and started producing the year after. The distillery is owned by the Edrington Group who used the bulk of it’s production for brands like Cutty Sark and Famous Grouse however in a twist that only Scotland can manage the Single Malt brand is owned by Berry Bros. & Rudd. Glenrothes has survived 4 major fires over the course of its life and as such is probably the hardiest distillery in Scotland. In cat lives does that mean it has 5 left?

Glenrothes
Glenrothes

Malt Whisky Company Glenrothes 8 Year Old – Bottled at the cask strength of 64.2%, no chill filtration or caramel of course. Cask number 37602 a refill Oloroso Hogshead.

Color:   A lovely reddish glow winking at the sherry influence and pretty decent for only 8 years and refill. Every cask is unique and this is a great example of that.

Nose:   Bovril (thick salty meat extract) and dark chocolate, burnt caramel mixed with a bag of asian spices, turmeric, paprika, cardamon and red chili flakes. This nose is immense and broods quietly like a trap door spider waiting patiently for a passing cricket.

Palate:  Freaking delicious and initially no where near the 64.2% on the tongue that I was expecting. Going down however all the way from the back of the throat right past the core to that warm center of my being it leaves a lasting trail. Juicy and coating with an oily parafin feel that keeps pumping flavor into every taste bud. Sweet vermouth and bitters, spices continuing from the nose into rich sherried notes.

Finish:   This whisky will love you for a very long time……. a very long time. The sherry really makes itself felt on the finish finally climbing over those spicy notes and leaving a lasting rich sweetness.

Water:   Just had to try a little splash of water in this beast. Second only to the huge A.D. Rattray Glen Moray of the second edition which was 64.8% this is an anomaly to say the least and especially for a Glenrothes. More of that caramel note and sweetness rises above the meaty spice. More sherry influence here and creamy cocoa with the water taming it a great deal. I think that the raw unbridled power of this whisky at 64.2% is just amazing and today that is how my palate is screaming at me to drink it.

Wow Stuart what an amazing cask of Glenrothes. I never thought I would have something from this distillery that would be so huge. I love my job.

Well sherry faithful did that tide you over for a bit? If you like this whisky lucky for you there are a few and only a few bottles coming to Canada. Please email me at jonathan@secretspirits.com if you want to find out where you can get it.

Whiskylassie is delving deep into this one and has posted her thoughts here.

In the second edition we had on day 8 the Wemyss Malts Dark Treacle Fondant Craigellachie and you can revisit it here.

Tomorrow after we all recover our sense of taste we will be heading back to the Highlands and the first offering from an independent bottler that made their lone debut in the 2nd edition. Single Cask Nation bring something unique and intriguing to the table.

See you then

Slainte

Jonathan – Taster of Secrets

Advent Day 22 – “Samaroli Sherry” 1992 Glen Scotia 22 Year Old Single Malt | Blog #54

G’day everyone and welcome to Monday! So far we have had some outstanding casks from Samaroli and today we have our first experience of a whisky aged in Sherry from them and I can say I’ve been eagerly awaiting this day to dawn.

Glen Scotia is one of only 3 distilleries that reside in the small region of Campbeltown. Licensed in 1835 it is thought that Glen Scotia operated as an illicit still long before that. Campbeltown was once a thriving whisky mecca with 21 licensed distilleries and is the only town that is also a region.

Whisky: “Samaroli Sherry” 1992 Glen Scotia 22 year old single malt

*Cask # 4 – Sherry butt – 40% non-chill filtered*

“Samaroli Sherry” Glen Scotia 22yo

Colour: Still not really dark after 22 years it has a lovely rich reddish hue and polished bronze look about it.

Nose: Big for 40% and reminds me of getting into a brand new luxury car with full leather interior and mahogany wood trim. In the back seat is a bowl of dried fruit potpourri.

Palate: Creamy fruit driven double espresso with a marzipan and bitter orange biscotti.

Finish: Soft and long yet dry with some subtle tangy English marmalade.

This is a very complex dram and one that I could take a long time over to fully dig to the heart of everything that makes it tick.

Water: Didn’t do it as it is already at 40%. Please let me know if you had the courage to splash a drop or two.

**Curt from All Things Whisky has also been “Tasting” along with the calendar. Check out his notes HERE.

This is a great late night by the fire dram. Something that you want time and quiet for so you can contemplate what the heck is going on as different flavors intertwine and evolve.

The dry finish is typical of older Sherry casks but I love that it is still soft.

Fantastic whisky Samaroli good work guys.

This deep and complex Glen Scotia has only 60 bottles available from the following retailers:

Calgary

Britannia Wine Merchants

Coop Wine and Spirits

Willow Park Wine & Spirits

Kensington Wine Market

Saskatchewan

Ingredients Artisan Market

Tomorrow we stay on the Sherry theme (very Christmassy) with another Wemyss Single Malt that will be sure to warm your hearts.

Tomorrow is the day before Christmas Eve and the excitement is building. Presents are safely tucked under the tree and if you have kids it’s probably already difficult to get them off to sleep.

The only sad part about tomorrow being day number 23 is that this years 1st Edition Scotch Whisky Advent Calendar will soon be coming to an end.

See you tomorrow …

Slainte!

Samaroli Website