Tag Archives: a.d. rattray

Bank Note Blended Whisky Review

Producer: A.D. Rattray. Distillers: undisclosed Highland & Speyside malt whisky distilleries, Lowland grain whisky distiller. ABV: 43%. Age: 5 years. Blend: 40% malt whisky, 60% grain. Price: $20 (1L).

On a cold rainy night in the Chicago spring, one reaches for comfort and quality. The Bank Note blended scotch provides both–and at an insane value: $20 for a 1 liter bottle.

A.D. Rattray is an independent bottler and non-distiller producer with a history going back to 1868. Apart from the Bank Note, they produce an extensive range of  single cask, single malt bottlings, and the Stronachie, a reproduction of a single malt from a lost distillery, which BO praised highly in a recent review.

For the Bank Note 5-year-old blended whisky, they’ve set the mix at 40% malt whisky and 60% grain. That’s a reasonably high proportion of malt for such a low-priced blend, and one reason it outperforms rivals at its price point.

There’s a nose of toasted cereal–think multi-grain Cheerios–and citrus zest. A palate of cocoa, more citrus, and candy bar. And a refreshingly long finish that gets warmer and spicier near the end.

All in all, a terrific value for a terrific blend. Cheers, all! – TM

Stronachie 18 Review

Producer: A.D. Rattray. Distiller: Benrinnes. ABV: 46%. Age: 18 years. Price: $80.

Wow! Liked this so much I hesitated to post–at least before I had a chance to grab of one the few bottles of it left at K&L Wines. But it’s all about spreading the love–and if somebody else snaps them up first, they may find a new favorite.

Stronachie was founded in the 1890s, and produced a distinctive Highland single malt until 1928, distributed by Dewar Rattray. When the modern A.D. Rattray set out to revive the brand, they found a 1904 vintage bottle and tried to match the profile. They settled on malt from Benrinnes, finished in a mix of bourbon and sherry.

They release a 10-year-old under the Stronachie name, as well as this, the 18-year-old. I’ll let you know when I can do a side-by-side with the 1904 vintage. In the meantime, I’ll say this 18 is a stunner. Robust malt on the nose, wildflower honey, dandelion stems. Palate: spiced orange marmalade, buttery tea biscuits, full mouthfeel. Long finish with bourbon barrel spice. Love it.

Here’s to unexpected discoveries, friends! – BO