Monday, May 23, 2011

Whisky Review: A.D. Rattray Cask Collection: Royal Lochnagar Distillery

Single Malt
Individual Cask Bottling
Non-chill Filtered

Style/Region: Highland
Age: 14 Year
Cask Type: Sherry
Distilled Date: July 17, 1996
Bottle Date: August, 4 2010
Alcohol: 56.3%

Water added: yes
Nose: Floral with honey. After water was added a sweet, honey nose comes through with considerable vanilla and hints of sherry.
Mouth Feel: light cream
Flavor: sweet smoothness and a bit of sherry, with slight oak and peppery tones.
Finish: smooth and muted, lingers with no overwhelming single flavor.

Overall Impressions: This is a very smooth, easy-going scotch and an excellent example of the Highland style. The Highland style combined with a sherry cask makes for a sweet and smooth drink that is very approachable and probably a scotch that a newcomer could enjoy. It’s not complex and doesn’t have the in-your-face feel of something like an Islay allowing it to come across as a bit more refined as a result. One of the best aspects of this drink is that it comes in full cask strength and allows me to water it down to the level I prefer. The A.D. Rattray Cask Collection: Royal Lochnager is a very pleasant drink that invokes the ideal of sitting in a plush leather chair with a good book (and quite possibly bunny slippers and pipe of fine tobacco).

Royal Lochnager has been around since 1845. Early on it gained the favor of Prince Albert and Queen Victoria, hence permission to use the ‘royal’ name. It helps that it’s located rather close to the royal family’s summer residence at Balmoral Castle.

A.D. Rattray is a distributor and independent bottler that takes whisky from around Scotland and bottles it directly, without watering down, dying, or chill filtration. The principle purpose of this old merchant company in modern times is to bottle unusual and exclusive casks of scotch whisky chosen to reflect the six individual whisky regions of Scotland. I’ve previously been very impressed by A.D. Rattray, and I’m happy that the trend is continuing. I got this bottle at BevMo, and for the price, it can’t be beat.

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