Monday, September 03, 2007

Malt Mission 2007 #151


Macleod's Island 8yo
Island Single Malt Whisky
40% abv
£19

Well it is days later and still a great absence of mainstream coverage of the death of Michael Jackson who passed away last Thursday. I am still shocked at this shameful oversight. But the grassroots media of the web proves that he is mourned throughout the world as a journalist, a lover of English pubs, renowned beer critic, and a whisky legend. Newspapers? Radio? TV? Let me know if anything you read, heard, or saw commemorated the man that I might have missed.

And just to be clear, I am not overplaying this just because I happen to be a part of some small esoteric demographic he addressed. He was a tourism writer that did wonderful things for London, Yorkshire, and England, a saviour of many pubs due to his lovingly written ode to the institutions simply titled, The English Pub, a television star as The Beer Hunter, a regular contributor to many magazines and newspapers, and the writer of several books on whisky, one of which saw five revised editions. This is no small contribution to British culture or influence in the world. BBC? Big Boardroom of Crackheads. Anyways...

We tried the Speyside expression (Malt Mission #141) of this budget line from Ian Macleod Distillers two weeks ago, and today we will have Macleod's Islands to kick-off an Island themed week. No, not THIS Macleod's
Island.

The Islands are an odd region, offering a wide variety of flavours from distillery to distillery, even ones only miles away from eachother (Scapa and Highland Park), and one that could convince you to stop believing in the regional classifications altogether. David Wishart has pushed against the belief in regional styles while others, legends like the late Michael Jackson, have been proponents of the idea of terroir in whisky production. Charles Maclean has this to say. Today, many agree that if nothing else, the idea of regions in Scottish malt whisky has provided a good marketing(is that a bad word?) or educational(is that worse?) tool for entry-level drinkers.

The islands region includes those Scottish isles with distilleries, excluding Islay, which constitutes its own region. Mull (Tobermory/Ledaig), Jura (Isle of Jura), Arran (Isle of Arran), Skye (Talisker), and Orkney (Highland Park, Scapa).

This bottling is from a company that also has these other Island malts in their stable: the Isle of Skye blend, Dun Bheagan Island Malt, 'AS WE GET IT' Island Malt, and Six Isles. More island fun and info can be read in The Island Whisky Trail and all island whiskies tasted on the Malt Mission can be found HERE.

TASTING NOTES:

Very laid back nose, some pine, some ginger, vanilla and oak. Calamine lotion. Some wet dog, too.

Soft on the palate, as well. Woodsy impressions from oak along with outdoorsy coastal impressions. Buttery and a touch salty, becoming very piney with some celery and raw potatoes, sweetened by a toffeed maltiness.

SUMMARY:

Whatever impression I may have given above, this whisky does succeed in offering a nice overview of an Island malt style. Great whisky for the uninitiated, but the experienced whisky drinker will find something to enjoy here as well, and not just the pretty price.

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3 comments:

m.lawrenson said...

The media probably did hear Michael Jackson died. But when they knew he wasn't THAT Michael Jackson, they completely lost interest.

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TaketsuruGuru said...

This is clearly a Talisker!! An excellent dram, remarkably good for the price. This is my favourite of the Macleod's 8 year olds followed closely by the Highland. You could call this one 'Talisker Lite'!!