Review #4: AD Rattray Cask Islay


6/10 - Solid.

Like licking the adhesive side of a honey-cantaloupe band-aid. At $53, very reasonable but would likely not purchase a second bottle in favor of a more flavorful Islay.

AD Rattray Cask Islay Dram

Like many blended scotch brands, AD Rattray was known to us first as a favored rum blend brand while drinking through the rums at Smuggler’s Cove. We were excited to find this (very reasonably) priced bottle at K&L Spirits and scooped it up immediately.


Tastes likes it noses. There’s a light bandage component weaved in with honeysuckle, cantaloupe, and lemon. The taste is rather delicate for an Islay (rather than the strong peat of a Laphroaig). Light end notes move from nice sweetness back into bandage territory. It tastes like what it’s advertised to be: a gateway into Islay for non-Islay drinkers. However, it may not be punchy enough for true peat fiends.

Fun Facts about AD Rattray and Cask Islay

  • “Cask Islay” originally was released as a blended whisky but now is a single malt from an unnamed (trade secret) Islay distillery and aged in ex-bourbon and ex-sherry barrels. Some guess Caol Ila.

  • AD Rattray was originally named “A Dewar Rattray” after the ancestor of the founder Tim Morrison but the company lost a legal battle with Dewar’s whisky

  • AD Rattray also produces the inexpensive Bank Note blended scotch ($22/Liter!)

  • Morrisons are a whisky family: Tim is the son of Stanley Morrison who purchased Bowmore in 1963 and owned it until 1994

    • Tim Morrison and his brother purchased Auchentoshan in 1984