A D Rattray
Founded in 1868 by Andrew Dewar Rattray, the company began by trading as an importer of French wines, Italian spirits and olive oil. It was not long before the company also established itself as a specialist in the art of blending whiskies.
It was not uncommon to see the companies horse drawn carts laden with cases of fine wines, oils and whiskies as they sold their wares in bulk to the merchants in Glasgow and the Clydeside area..
The company soon became an important representative to many of the whisky distilleries and today they still play a very important role within the distribution of whisky to the consumer..
Founded In 1959 this grain distillery did not start to produce spirit until 1961. Located in the town of Invergordon which was once known by An Rudha which translates to “ the point “ , it was William Gordon who re named it Invergordon in the 18th Century.
Located near deep water the distillery came about after the Navy has withdrawn from the area creating unemployment for many of the locals..
The deep water and access to local grain made the location perfect and add to that the unemployment in the area and it becomes an ideal location.
The distillery is no small scale operation, boasting a capacity to produce a whopping 36 million litres of alcohol per year from the Continuous Coffey stills, and with the majority of the liquid going into the Whyte and Mackay blends its not hard to imagine the sheer scale of operations here..
With the sales of grain whisky starting to take off, prices are slowly rising so there is no wonder people are also searching out those well aged offerings before it is too late. There are still plenty of aged stocks about at reasonable prices, although this is beginning to change as the accountants begin to realise there is money to be had from the sales..
Old Invergordon is amongst the best in the grain category in my opinion and as with many of these old grains they pack some real flavour as the cask albeit probably a well used one has given every last drop it had to offer.. Most of the grain spirit put into cask over the years has obviously being intended to enter the world of Blended whisky so there was no real intention to use good quality casks as the grain spirit was intended to be basically taste neutral and only wanted for the use of bulking out the liquid to allow the malt whisky to still be the flavour dominance..
Both wheat and corn were used in the older days of grain production but the use of corn has slowly given way to the use of wheat which still gives that sweetness that corn offered but possibly gives a deeper complexity to the spirit, add to this the use of better quality casks and the grain whisky world is only set to become more prevalent.
1991 Invergordon – A D Rattray – Cask Collection
Age.. 24 years
Cask.. Ex Bourbon Hogshead #39033
This single cask offering was both sold as by A D Rattray but also offered up by Secret Spirits for their 2019 whisky advent calendar. Secret Spirits is a Canadian based company who offer up a multitude of spirit related items and indie bottled whisky.. This sample was from the 2019 Whisky advent calendar which is filled with indie bottled, 5cl single cask offerings all at natural strength, NCF and naturally coloured.. Check out their website HERE..
Nose.. Although this has an initial sweetness there is a distinct dried fruit aroma rising on the back of demerara sugar, toffee, vanilla and candied orange, hints of chocolate infused with ginger, fruit salad sweets and popcorn all show up with that slight furniture polish note ever so slightly lurking in the background.
Palate.. Those typical grain notes are there in abundance with a bucket load of sweetness from caramel, toffee, burnt sugars and delicious butterscotch sweets.. A little fruity note develops with some soft spices, espresso coffee notes and bitter chocolate on the backbone
Finish.. Deliciously sweet.
Thoughts.. Yet another delicious, unforgettable grain whisky from an indie bottler..
With thanks to Secret Spirits for this sample..