Cask Islay

Cask Islay (46%, A. D. Rattray, 2018)

  • Category: Islay single malt scotch whisky
  • Origin:  ?
  • Bottling: A. D. Rattray
  • ABV: 46%
  • Cost: £32


What they say

Perched at the tip of Scotland’s Inner Hebrides, Islay is a welcome sight to weary seafarers. For on this far-flung island, warmth has always been found in the people, the land and the whisky they craft.

As the sun sets, a golden glow descends over the fertile landscape and the stacks of hand-cut peat drying in the briny air. This ancient fuel has long been used to heat the island’s hearths and imbue its whisky with an alluring smoky character.

Our Cask Islay is a classic single malt, epitomising the Queen of the Hebrides. It’s lively enough to satisfy peat-lovers, yet inviting enough to tempt others to enjoy their first delicious dram of an Islay malt.

One sip takes over your senses and carries you across the waters to Islay…

When poured, the golden glow of the spirit is a promise of the warmth to come and the perfectly balanced journey through juicy barley, citrus notes, burnt toffee and rich peat smoke. Matured in bourbon casks.

Official tasting notes:

  • Colour: Golden.
  • Nose: Warm & fiery, roasting peat kiln, some citrus notes after the smoke.
  • Palate: Oily, burnt toffee, juicy barley and rich peat smoke.
  • Finish: Grilled orange, salted caramel and wood smoke in the background.

What I say

Sampled during the A.D. Rattray tweet tasting #ADRattray hosted by Steve at The Whisky Wire on 10th September 2018.

Distilled at an undisclosed Islay distillery and matured in ex-Bourbon casks before bottling at 46% ABV by A.D. Rattray. A cask strength (likely limited edition) version of this may well be available soon according to the good folks at A. D. Rattray!

My tasting notes:

  • Appearance: Sauternes gold (8/20)
  • Nose: Shellfish, fresh & sweet and also smoked, peat smoke, tarry ropes, farmyard or barn, smouldering hay mulch and peat, and then the phenols like germolene spread on burnt brown toast (don’t try that at home!) a little beery and yeasty too.
  • Taste: Oily palate but not too heavy, malty, a beer or Stout float with vanilla ice-cream, wintergreen oil, oily peat smoke, tar, Coal-tar soap, treacle toffee, I feel like I need a glass of Swarfega to clear my palate after this dram only I don’t want to!
  • Finish: Long, vanilla cream sweetness packed with peaty phenols.


A delicious Islay expression which at first nose suggested Caol Ila distillery, later a hint of gun oil had my mind drifting towards Lagavulin but the beauty of these is we don’t really know where it came from (or if each release hails from the same place). The best thing to do is not care and just enjoy this for what it is – a really great peated Islay expression, powerfully evocative phenols paired with sweet vanilla from ex-Bourbon casks.

Score 89/100

Shop for Cask Islay (opens A.D. Rattray)

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Categories: Islay

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