Monday, October 01, 2007

Malt Mission 2007 #166

Macleod's Highland 8yo
Highland Single Malt Whisky
40% abv


Welcome to October. This Malt Mission began in January and I am amazed, shocked, and delighted that it is still going. Thanks for reading.

Another one of the Macleod's range (others can be found HERE) from Ian Macleod Distillers, this time from the Highlands. The Highlands include a wide geographical area and diversity of whisky syles, but "Highlands" would be my answer to the somewhat silly question, "what is your favourite region of Scottish whisky production?"

There are well over 30 different malt distilleries in the region, including Glengoyne which is owned by Ian Macleod Distillers, so they certainly have quite a number of distilleries to choose from to represent this region. They have plenty of maturing stocks as they bottle the Chieftains and Dun Bheagan lines as well as many different blended whiskies... I wonder what they use in this bottling, hmmm.

I look forward to trying this and I know many of you readers are, too, as it is the most affordable whisky range in many global markets. Whisky needn't be expensive to be tasty. And in a time when it seems that every whisky lover who doesn't drive a Jaguar, or own a car at all, is getting squeezed out of the market with premiumisation strategies and price jumps, knowing which affordable/cheap malts are good and which are great becomes more and more vital. In fact, this was one of the first bottles I purchased in the early years of my whisky exploration and, one way or the other, thanks to it I am still on a malt mission.

So let's check it out. I haven't had it in many years. Again, all Macleod's tasted on the mission can be found HERE. Islay and Lowland to come soon.


Butter and honey on a pancake, citrus, raisins and fruit punch, brazil nuts and a touch of maple.

Love the attack in the mouth: soft, but spreads like fire on a sheet of paper. Vanilla, dates, pecans, and a slightly smoky finish with oak and corn sweetness.


Nose was full of character, palate was tasty enough with high drinkability, and the finish was pleasant, slightly smoky, and medium long. Add to this a great price and you find unbelievable value. A great step-up for the standard blends drinker or the shallow-pocketed. A guilt-free purchase to be shared and enjoyed.

What makes it Highland? I guess it is the lack of estery notes(more prominent in Speyside malts), only faint phenolic notes(more prominent in Island or Islay malts), and the general weightiness on the nose, kind of oily and aldehydic. What distillery? Tough. If forced, I might guess a young Blair Atholl cuz of the baked character, but really, it could be half a dozen different malts. Call in an expert. Very enjoyable overall.

Malt Mission #165
Malt Mission #167
Malt Mission #168
Malt Mission #169
Malt Mission #170

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