Today we do a comparison piece which is really going to showcase how much impact casks have on the flavor profile of a whisky. Earlier on day 9 we tried the Single Cask Nation Loch Lomond, Croftengea and now we get to compare an A.D. Rattray Croftengea in a completely different barrel.
For those that missed the earlier piece and want some background on the distillery and for comparison you can check out the blog here.
So without further preamble lets delve into this wee bottle.
A.D. Rattray Loch Lomond – Croftengea at the full cask strength of 58.9% and aged for 11 years in a sherry hogshead. Loch Lomond is as we mentioned in that earlier blog a Highland distillery.
Color: Just the palest whiff of a darker reddish hue giving perhaps a hint that this was aged in a refill sherry cask.
Nose: Montreal Smoked meat on Pumpernickel with a dark molasses and black bean sauce. I will be honest here and say that no such sandwich exists but I want one in the worst way.
Palate: The weight of the 58.9 seems just perfect with the oily palate coating experience of this dram. Earth Wind and Fire could write a song about this whisky with their sweet soul vibes adding a smooth backdrop. Dark heavy chocolate here and warming dark stone fruit compote with an earthy smoky essence running right through everything.
Finish: Softening peat that fades to a lasting finish that throws in a sparkle of burnt Tangarine zest.
Loads going on here and the first sherried Croftengea I have ever tried. Amazing that both this and the Single Cask Nation cask have some similarities and yet so much that makes them completely different. Highland peat is certainly a different animal than Islay or Island and I like the flavorful and yet somewhat softer character.
I have the fun and honor of having Jason Johnstone-yellin from Single Cask Nation here with me as I taste this dram and it is fantastic for him to give us his perspective in the light of his excellent company bringing us the earlier Croftengea. I love being able to shed some light on how unique and different each single cask of whisky is. For those that have never done this sort of comparison you can see for yourselves that whisky is incredibly complex even from the same distillery and aged for similar amounts of time.
So over to you Jason what do you think?
Nose: Funky and Pungent with charcoal bricks dipped in cherry cordial, wet kelp drizzled with soy sauce, and driftwood dropped on a beach campfire.
Palate: Smoky and salty with Camphor, warmed dark cherries, and abundant cinnamon. Hints of eucalyptus as it transitions into the finish.
Finish: Lingering smoke with some cinnamon heat, hints of grey pepper towards the end of the finish.
Overall: Oily and mouth coating with drying smoke, a certain waxiness, and pleasant heat. Another winner in the Secret Spirits Scotch Whisky Advent Calendar.
Thanks Jason for jumping in with another perspective on this dram. Head on over to our official taster this edition at Whisky Lassie and see how she fares with this sherried peated Highland.
On this day in the second edition we had the fantastic Samaroli Miltonduff.
Tomorrow we are in for a real treat from Samaroli as we head into the business end of the 3rd edition.
Jonathan – taster of secrets