Whisky Review – Cask Islay (A D Rattray)

Cask Islay (A D Rattray)

46% ABV

Non chill filtered

£35.57 from Master of Malt


First sniff. Oh yeah it’s Islay alright! Intense, big smoke in the eyes, a lovely back note of tarty lemon juice. Great maritime influences of road tar, brine, some salted mackerel. It’s a complex seaside dram. A little TCP, and sterilised bandages. Touches of heather and a smidge of lavender. Damp hay with some flowery pollen. Earthy. Some light barley sugar. Vanilla. Creme caramel. Touches of banana as the dram unfolds in the glass. A little ale, and yeasty around the edges in a good way. Wonderfully traditional, young and fully representative of an Islay whisky. Given a little more time and air and we have more barley sugar sweetness coming into the mix. Lovely stuff. 


Sweet, cane sugar, earthy, grassy arrival. Development brings some herbal notes, parsley, aniseed, earthy vanilla. More sugar sweetness continues, creamy caramel and fudge, some fennel, light citrus juices, touches of mandarin. Beautifully oily mouthfeel. Delightful sipping stuff. 


Load of honey and barley sugar sweets lingers for a long length finish, warmth on the chest reminiscent of standing next to a bonfire, which is why there is so much smoke in my senses as well! An aftertaste of fennel and smokey embers. Honest to goodness Islay. 

Adding water. 

A few drops added. The smoke on the nose is more floral now and heather honey rich. The palate is also a lot smoother, still velvety on the mouthfeel, lots of sweetness, a touch of added earthiness, a little lowered in the smoke, lots of herbal throat sweets. The finish has the smokiness returning, with the long finish having a rich cough candy twist throat sweeties feel. Water or not? It’s a difficult one, try it. See what you think. I like with and without equally. 


This is a great honest, straightforward and complex package in one. Islay through and through. Bloody lovely. Beautiful. Bang for your buck. Bloody great stuff. Highly recommended to you peat heads out there. 

Many thanks to A D Rattray. for the review sample