A. D. Rattray
Founded by Andrew Dewar Rattray in 1868, A D Rattray began trading as an importer of French wines, Italian spirits and olive oil. More importantly, however, the company also established itself as a specialist in the field of blending and storage of malt and grain whiskies.
In the latter part of the 1800s A D Rattray Ltd came to represent a number of well-known Highland Malt distilleries – most notably Stronachie – selling bulk whisky to West of Scotland wine and spirit merchants, publicans and the main Scotch whisky blending houses in and around Glasgow.
Like many other merchants, A D Rattray Ltd suffered during the crisis of the early 1900s and in the late 1920s the partners sold the business to William Walker. Well-established as a whisky broker, Walker set about expanding the business with the acquisition of a number of smaller merchants. Despite rationing during the 2nd World War, the company continued to supply the West of Scotland licensed trade until Walker’s death.
A D Rattray Ltd has now returned to the family and is owned by Mr Tim Morrison, previously of Morrison Bowmore Distillers and fourth generation descendent of Andrew Dewar Rattray. The company’s resurgence came about in 2002 with the bottling of a ‘new’ Stronachie 12yo. In April 2004, using his extensive knowledge and expertise in the whisky industry, Mr Morrison then bottled a selection of his own handpicked stock of whiskies for market release and the A D Rattray Cask Collection was born.
Today the company’s principal purpose is to promote the Stronachie, Cask Islay and Bank Note brands and bottle unusual and exclusive casks of Scotch whisky as part of the A D Rattray Cask Collection range.
It was the dream of Mr Morrison to establish an independent whisky experience to appeal to everyone from the complete novice to the whisky connoisseur. In 2011 the A D Rattray Whisky Experience & Whisky Shop opened in the old village school in Kirkoswald, Ayrshire. With a purpose built design, interactive displays and a passionate team his dream has been realised.
A. D. Rattray Whisky Reviews
- Arran 6 Years Old Oloroso Sherry Octave Finish – The Octave Project (57%, A.D. Rattray, 2018) - Arran 6 Years Old Oloroso Sherry Octave Finish - The Octave Project whisky review: A great nose on this one, very smooth on the palate with plenty of mouth-watering fruit jam. sadly still a little too thin although some malty barley makes an appearance, a little warming with some reflux on this one. 73/100
- Arran 6 Years Old Original Bourbon Barrel – The Octave Project (59.3%, A.D Rattray, 2018) - Arran 6 Years Old Original Bourbon Barrel - The Octave Project whisky review: This 6 year old cask strength bourbon-barrel matured Arran is very light bodied with fresh and fruity spirit and hints of wood. A little bit of a 'ghost' whisky, i.e. is it really there? Not a huge amount of character, but fairly light and pleasant enough to carry into the octaves for finishing. 68/100
- Arran 6 Years Old PX Sherry Octave Finish – The Octave Project (55.4%, A.D. Rattray, 2018) - Arran 6 Years Old PX Sherry Octave Finish - The Octave Project whisky review: On the face of it this had plenty going for it in terms of aroma's and flavours, I must admit to preferring PX to Oloroso sherry most of the time. Unfortunately this is still too light-bodied to carry these flavours and any previous character has been obliterated. Sadly this PX finish tasted a little force-matured and this whisky's backbone too weak to take it. 70/100
- Arran 6 Years Old Rioja Octave Finish – The Octave Project (57.6%, A.D. Rattray, 2018) - Arran 6 Years Old Rioja Octave Finish - The Octave Project whisky review: Wow, superbly good and equal to the Oloroso in enjoyment terms. This Rioja-cask finish is a little dustier and drier and has a slightly lighter fruit profile with hints of spice and greener oak wood. That classic combo of strawberry and lime that really works. 73/100
- Arran 6 Years Old Rum Octave Finish – The Octave Project (57.3%, A.D. Rattray, 2018) - Arran 6 Years Old Oloroso Rum Octave Finish - The Octave Project whisky review: Finally a little bit of body in this one, it borders on becoming undone by the spirity & spicy nature which come across as youthful exuberance. I have come unstuck upon several rum-cask finishes of late but this one has renewed my interest in them. A very pleasant way to finish off our Octave Project sampling.
- Bank Note 5 Years Old (43%, A.D Rattray, 2018) - Bank Note 5 Years Old blended Scotch whisky review: A pleasant blended scotch whisky, while the grain component is evident the end result is surprisingly rounded and drinkable considering the youngest element in this blend is 5 years old. Some nice cask char and spice elements present too. 76/100
- Cask Islay (46%, A. D. Rattray, 2018) - Cask Islay single malt scotch whisky review: 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. 89/100
- Cask Orkney 18 Years Old (46%, A. D. Rattray, 2018) - Cask Orkney 18 Years Old whisky review: I have to agree that this fits the profile of for example Highland Park's Freya expression (also Bourbon cask matured). Full of heathery and lightly floral peat influence and that slightly salty and very malty distillate the Kirkwall distillery is rather famous for. 86/100
- Pulteney 10 Years Old Oloroso Sherry octave finish – The Octave Project (56%, A.D.Rattray, 2018) - Pulteney 10 Years Old Oloroso Sherry octave finish - The Octave Project whisky review: Spiced and redolent of fruity berries and cream, I'm not sure this is an improvement over the original cask - in fact most of the things I liked from the original bourbon barrel are absent here. Still a very drinkable dram and pleasant rather than spectacular. 83/100
- Pulteney 10 Years Old PX Sherry octave finish – The Octave Project (57.5%, A.D.Rattray, 2018) - Pulteney 10 Years Old PX Sherry octave finish - The Octave Project whisky review: Easily as good as the original Bourbon barrel expression but quite different. This time their is some dark fruits from the sherry cask but also plenty of chocolate and nutty elements too. The spice in this one is much more reserved. 85/100
- Pulteney 10 Years Old Rioja octave finish – The Octave Project (57.1%, A.D.Rattray, 2018) - Pulteney 10 Years Old Rioja octave finish - The Octave Project whisky review: Similar to the Arran finished in the Rioja octave, this Pulteney expression is bursting with fruits and cream and is just delicious! 85/100
- Pulteney 10 Years Old Rum octave finish – The Octave Project (55.8%, A.D.Rattray, 2018) - Pulteney 10 Years Old Rum octave finish - The Octave Project whisky review: Sweet but also a little savoury this one, it grew on me but not as instantly likeable as some of the others in this set. It is actually quite hard to fault the Original Bourbon Barrel expression which shone the most in intensity of flavour, the others at time seem a little muddled by the finishing but still of great quality. 83/100
- Pulteney 9 Years Old Original Bourbon Barrel – The Octave Project (58.9%, A.D Rattray, 2018) - Pulteney 9 Years Old Original Bourbon Barrel - The Octave Project whisky review: A great and classic Pulteney expression, malty, fruity, coastal and vanilla from the bourbon barrel - I kept picking up a hint of wood smoke or toasted oak in here too. 84/100
- Stronachie 10 Year Old (43%, A. D. Rattray, 2018) - Stronachie 10 Year Old single malt scotch whisky review: A great base or standard Benrinnes expression, and nice to sample something only matured in Bourbon casks. Plenty of room for distillery/spirit character to play here to great effect. 82/100
- Williamson 6 Years Old 2011 Cask #130 (61.14%, A. D. Rattray, Sherry Butt, 504 Bottles, 2017) - Williamson 6 Years Old 2011 Cask #130 whisky review: Probably would have been my dram of the night if the Cask Islay (Caol Ila?) hadn't been so darned good! A lot earthier in its peat this one and some substantial cask influence despite the use of a bigger vessel (butt) over a relatively short period. Perhaps if left a few more years this one could have been truly amazing? 87/100