Monday, August 20, 2007
Macleod's Speyside 8yo
Single Malt Whisky
Two words: Whisky Fringe. Amazing. The independents absolutely shine at this event (through the stained glass... what a gorgeous venue!!!) Congrats again to the Royal Mile Whiskies team for putting on such a great couple of days.
We were exposed to the new Mackmyra 05, saw the new packaging for Douglas Laing's Old Malt Cask series (looks good; just an update not a complete re-do), and a few of us were lucky enough to try the new Glenmorangie range that has been a topic of hot gossip on several other whisky blogs, WhiskyCast, and whisky news sites. The Gordon & Macphail/Benromach table was stellar, Duncan Taylor/Whisky Galore continued to impress (you must try the 33yo Rarest of the Rare Deluxe Blend if you can), Ian Macleod Distillers had a chance to feature the value and depth of their range, and the fact that you couldn't turn left or right without meeting some very warm friendly folk says a lot not only about the people who make and market whisky, but about the men and women who drink it, too. Cheers to all of you!
This malt from the regional series from Ian Macleod Distillers will be starting off two Speyside weeks here on the Malt Mission. Ian Macleod Distillers Ltd. was founded in 1933 by Leonard Russell and his progeny still manage the independent Scottish company. Their range of brands is really quite impressive. In 2003, they acquired the amazing Glengoyne Distillery as well as Lang's blends. The rest of their range includes Smokehead, The Six Isles, Isle of Skye Blended Whisky, Chieftain's, Dun Bheagan, Hedges and Butler, Magilligan Irish Whisky, Macleod's Single Malt Whiskies, and more...
We will be trying the rest of this range (highland, island, islay, lowland) as we have other regional themed weeks in the future. I guess we could have tasted them all in a row but I thought this would be more fun. The Macleod' Highland was one of the first full bottles of whisky I ever brought home. And I shared it. And we liked it. Others tasted on the mission will eventually be found HERE.
Polished oak and quite perfumy. Oak and malt work in parallel here rather than combining. Sherry is present but doesn't diminish the freshness of the barley impressions. Fresh vegetables from a garden. In fact, that brings to mind summer soups which also share the freshness character with this dram. Gazpacho. I used to hate when my dad made that stuff, but I love eating it now.
Oak again. Buttery sherry start that collapses mid palate. Green maltiness, seed oils (and petrol oils?) with herbal flavours and some peppery ones, too. Sherry in the finish with glossy magazine paper and synthetic cinnamon.
I wasted the first three minutes with this dram trying to figure out from which distillery it came. NERD! Then I wasted the next two figuring out what that soup was called that my dad used to make. Sorry.
Can't lie to you, I'm not nuts about this, but it is cheap as chips and a great entry point for beginners on their own malt missions. For the time being, anyways, it is on roughly the same price point as a few other bottles that I would recommend first (or soon after), but this makes a fine introduction to what combinations of flavours distinguish one region from another... if we can even continue to generalise about things like that.
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Malt Mission #145
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