Dewar Rattray Invergordon Tasting Notes

Posted: September 23, 2011 in Invergordon, Scottish Grain Whisky

A.D Rattray Invergordon 1991 (24 year old) 59.9%

Bourbon Cask 39033/ Dist: 1991 Btl: 2015/ Tasted: Sept 2015

The nose is quite fresh and grainy with underlying chocolate coated dried fruit, smoke and herbs. Hints of praline and more fragrant cigar smoke emerge along with an almost peaty/ medicinal note, which is quite unusual. With time some burnt coffee grains appear.

The palate begins with some tight, herbal tannins and alcohol soaked dried fruit. Hints of buttered rum toffee, chocolate coated raisin and buckets of bitter chocolaty spices follow. Very long and smoky with some sultana and citrus coming through on the finish. Slightly oily and smoky after-taste with lingering toffee’d oak. Wonderful intensity!

A drop of water makes the nose oilier and subtler, emphasising the toasted nuts and perfumed citrus. The palate is a little sweeter now with the emphasis on the oily dried fruit. It’s also taken the edge of the bittering spices and it has become smokier. The dried fruit still lingers and a little herbal graininess can now be discerned.

Dewar Rattray Invergordon 1964 (40 year old) 52.1%

Bourbon Cask 57633/ Dist: Aug 1964 Btl: June 2005/ Tasted: Dec 2005

Wow, wow and again wow! It has been awhile since I was truly blown away by a whisky, but this one does. Oily, lusciously fruity almost Bourbon whisky like. Is this really 40? The aromas are so extraordinary and complex they are quite difficult to pin down, but here goes (deep breath!) – sweet corn, very creamy apricot, new oak-ish aromas, it reminds me of a heavily oaked desert wine, hugely spicy with natural caramel and coconut. This was an incredibly cask.

On the palate it is med-dry, crisp, mature, again quite Bourbon like with cereal, corn, lovely soft, mature dried fruit, a touch rum like on the middle, tangy yet soft alcohol, lashings of oily orange, apricot, late harvested oaked fruit. A simply superb length, luscious, sweet and lasting. I think I can still taste those spices.

A.D Rattray Invergordon 1972 (43 year old) 48.9%

Bourbon Cask 39/ Dist: 1972 Btl: 2016/ Tasted: Apr 2016

A lovely nose of oily, rummy dried fruit and subtle oak. Hints of lemon, vanilla, marzipan follow. The oak is restrained and doesn’t overwhelm the spirit. With time a touch of burnt wood.

Crisp and fresh (for its age) with lightly oiled dried fruit, coffee, toffee and creamy oak. A little gritty dark chocolate comes through on the middle. Very vibrant with some smoke and gritty tannins, but the soft, sweet-ish dried fruit balances. Very long with lingering coconut, dry spice and slightly bitter oak notes. Lovely complexity.

Dewar Rattray Ivergordon 1966 (46 year old) 51.9%

Bourbon cask 5/ Dist: 1966 Btl: 2012/ Tasted: Nov 2012

A seriously dense nose with plenty of coffee oak and slightly salted butter. Actually it’s melted butter! Or is it melted fudge? Either way it’s fair to say that it’s quite oaked, but the nippy grains fight back hard aided by some lovely raisinated fruit. But it’s the stunning clarity of the mature oak which catches the eye, or the nose as the case maybe! It’s so soft and succulent. A classically oaked Invergordon, but with the oak turned up to 11!

Like the nose the oak starts a rollin’ from the word go. Gently buttery moving into fudge with a suggestion of corn meal. Now the grainy spices come through on the middle, trailing some lovely sugars and lightly raisinated fruit. Briefly the complexity of those dried fruits shines before the toffee/ vanilla fudge returns with a very lightly roasted coffee bean note. Yes it’s hugely oaked, but then old grain is and the myriad of oak flavours is absolutely breath taking.

Dewar Rattray Invergordon 1988 (25 year old) 52.8%

Bourbon Cask 8093/ Dist: 1988 Btl: 2014/ Tasted: Jan 2014

The nose is crisp and oily with buckets of oily, Guyana-like dried fruit, herbal, grainy spices and sweet oak. For an Invergordon it’s relatively light on the oak, but it has a lovely fragrant character. With time it becomes lightly creamy with a sort of clarified butter note. It’s not all about the oak though as there is some lovely sweetly but earthily spiced apricot and sultana coming through. With time it becomes quite herbal.

The palate is soft and sweetly oaked. Slightly creamy with gerbil ingrained dried fruit and grainy spice. The spirit itself is a little neutral, so the overall impression is of a mature oak aged vodka but those buzzy spices are beguiling. The oils build and counteract bringing hints of coffee and treacle. On the middle the dried fruit really begins to kick in. Wonderfully soft with a touch of coal smoke and sweet maple wood smoke in the finish. Actually it’s pretty smoky now with a bbq honey glazed ham-like after-taste! Ooooh that’s good!


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