David Pepper, our Sedona store manager, is endlessly curious about acquiring information on our unique whisky collection. He has compiled his thoughts on one of our newest products, A. D. Rattray Williamson Single Malt Single Cask Scotch below.
As sometimes happens when we get in a new scotch, I was left with a few questions about our new Blended Malt from Islay, The Williamson. After a little bit of digging, I learned a lot of interesting information. Being a blended malt, I thought it odd that there were only about 200 bottles made. Turns out it is what is referred to as a Teaspooned Scotch. This is a single barrel with a minuscule amount of another barrel added in; taking away its “Single Malt” status and allowing another name to be attached to the whiskey. The Williamson is using a Laphroaig for the base barrel, although it has no mention of that on the bottle.
The Williamson is named after Bessie Williamson, who was the only female who owned and managed a scotch whisky distillery in the 1900s. She started as a secretary in ’34 for Ian Hunter (current owner of Laphroaig at the time), and in only four short years worked her way up to the head of distribution to the US. When Ian Hunter died in ’54, he left his controlling shares to Williamson. She then took up not only the ownership but also the management of Laphroaig. She is credited with being one of the first to anticipate and meet the needs of Single Malt Scotch in the US, and under her leadership, she managed to break Laphroaig out of being used primarily for blends and build it into a Single Malt brand. She was also selected as the Spokeswoman to the USA for the Scotch Whisky Association from 1961 to 1964.
I found this all to be quite interesting because this Scotch pays homage to one of the foremothers of the modern scotch whisky industry.