Of all mornings, today I decided to see if Graham wanted to be the one to open the advent door. It's important to share your whiskies with the people you love. So, he jumped out of bed and made his way to the whisky advent calendar. All the way from our bedroom, I heard him exclaim: "Holy crap Jo! Wait until you see this one!!". Graham came up the stairs but he stopped in the kitchen. He kept saying over and over again how surprised I was going to be. I simply couldn't wait so I got my slippers on and literally ran to the kitchen. When I arrived he made it look like he was pouring the dram into his coffee. I almost shrieked!? It was only 6:20am on a Tuesday after all, and hell I'm supposed to review this?!! hehe
With morning coffee in hand we both made it back to our warm bed. I asked if I could actually see the sample (as I still had no idea what it was at that point) and so he opened it, took a sniff and a quick little nip. Hmmmmmm, he murmured with a smile. I hit his arm: "Come on, no fair, what is it!!", I whined. He laughed at me but handed me the little bottle. Day 13... AD Rattray Auchroisk 25 year old. My eyes almost popped out of my head. I also opened the little sample, nosed it briefly and dipped my finger into the whisky. Agreed = Hmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmm!
Coffee done, off to work and trained my new staff. Exhausted when I walked through the door, I went straight to the bathroom and poured myself a hot bath. I reached for my day 13 sample, my NEAT glass and settled into the enveloping warmth and comfort of my bath.
This may sound like a strange thing to describe, but for me the tub is a fantastic way to unwind, relax and often this is where I experience some of my whiskies in the best of ways. I think it's because I create an environment that is calm, somewhat dark and for me I believe this enhances my sense of smell. I am able to really concentrate, I guess? No matter, it's a fabulous way for this Lassie to leave the work day behind, enjoy a dram and relax. So, it's where I enjoyed day 13. Mind you, I've learned from this experience that I shouldn't try to make my notes, well at least not in pen... :)
A.D. Rattray 1991 Auchroisk (pronounced Aw-Thrusk), 25 year old, bottled at 53% ABV. Bourbon cask #7531
Colour: Brand new gold, deep yellow indeed.
Nose: Crisp autumn apples or maybe it's more about being in the orchard when the sun starts to warm everything. It's floral, "meadow like".
Palate: Lovely fresh fruit sweetness, a bit "dusty" from a cereal perspective. That's hard to explain in you have never experienced it. It's like tasting the air in a barn when you are haying. With water this turned into a creamy custard with hints of white spices like ground ginger.
Finish: It's quite "zippy", it's sweet but has a bit of a refreshing minty or eucalyptus finish. Quite lovely.
I've had the chance to try a few whiskies from this distillery but never one that so well represented a bourbon cask maturation such as this one.
Honestly, I made myself a promise to finish all of my samples or share them with Graham. This little whisky is the exception. I think I'm going to hang on to just a little bit so that someone else, who I think might appreciate it, can try it to.
Jonathan, you sir, have a knack for picking some really stellar off the beat and path whiskies that are truly a once in a lifetime experience. Once again, I raise my rubber duck (cause I don't wear a cap in the tub), hehe....
And speaking of the people who brought us this great advent calendar, check out Jonathan's review at:
On the flip side of 13... we are now working our way down to the last 12... I will do my best to not be sad ;)