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Highland Park AD Rattray 16 Year

Curious Little Bottle

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RReview by @Rigmorole

27th Jan 2014


Highland Park AD Rattray 16 Year
  • Nose
  • Taste
  • Finish
  • Balance
  • Overall

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Unlike most distiller's releases of HP, this one was matured in bourbon casks (as opposed to Sherry, which is what most HP is aged in, at least for some of the time).

Bottling info: Cask 1480. 375ml. 25.07.2011 bottled. 13.07.1995. 462 bottles from this cask. Doesn't seem to be a refill cask since the oak is dialed up high strong in the mix.

Appearance: Very light when compared with normal 15 year Highland Park.

Nose: wafer, bourbon, hint of peat water, vanilla, oak, fresh bailed hay, crushed green birch leaves.

Palate: Too hot without water. I added a few drops. Homemade marshmellows, vanilla, caramel, cloves, oak, musty leaves, wet earth.

Finish: This is the best category. Delightfully long and complex with vanilla, nougat, bourbon, oak.

I suggest at least 30 minutes in the glass to facilitate adequate oxygenation. This whisky needs some fresh air to come into its own.

I paid $72 for the 375 ml. While this is a fairly enjoyable scotch, it doesn't compare with a good 18 year Highland Park, and it is not easy to drink. . However, it is all natural with no E150a, which is a bonus. I have tasted many bottles of 18 year regular HP that were better. This said, the last few I've bought in Oregon were not as good as this one.

Final observations: The lighter color of this AD Rattray reminds me of a bottle of Highland Park 18 that I bought in Scotland several years ago. It was among the best Scotch I tasted there. Really terrific. As always, my advice with the 18 is as follows: the lighter in color, the better in flavor!

As for this AD Rattray, it's rare at this point. If you see a bottle and you feel adventurous, buy it. If I had tasted this prior to deciding, I wouldn't have bought it. At a lower price point, say $50, it would have been a worthwhile purchase, IMO.

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