Monday, October 22, 2007

Malt Mission 2007 #181

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


Another Monday here on the mission and another Islay-themed week in store for us. Down a pint of water cuz here we go.

Although not every distillery on Islay produces a peated spirit, you can expect this whisky to introduce all the stereotypical peaty, smokey, and medicinal elements found in the most distinctive Islay malts. This range of bottlings from Ian Macleod Distillers is specifically designed to introduce 5 different styles of whisky to new malt drinkers and those who would have a hard time justifying spending over £20 on a bottle of booze. They are each given regional designations: Lowland, Highland, Island, Speyside and Islay.

Frig, words are coming out like square shits today.

Armin Grewe, a man passionate about Islay culture, history, and of course whisky, has been fortunate enough to spend the past week on the island off the west coast of Scotland. See his site HERE.

It is Monday and I am terribly uninspired. Sorry. Let's taste.


The heart of this is nutty and fudgy, but the accents are all over the place: soft smokiness, salted butter, dry washing-up sponge, chips and vinegar, licorice root, leather wallet, and the spice of caraway seeds.

Spicy and savoury with the nuttiness of grains, rye, barley, Danish or German rye bread. High fibre whisky. Black pepper. Mineral, like the taste of some multi vitamins, Maldon sea salt, or sand (yes, I remember the taste of eating the stuff as a child). Finish is moderately peaty with the tang of malt vinegar and salt, and the warmth of melted butter.


Very pleasant drinking whisky with enough flavour to distinguish it from the other regional expressions in this range and to satisfy both new and experienced whisky drinkers. A very restrained expression under the Islay banner, but a good ambassador for the regional style as it creates its own middle ground between Ardbeg and Bunnahabhain. Geographically, that puts us somwhere in the middle of the island, but I am not going to guess what this mystery malt is. You can play that game yourselves.

Malt Mission #180
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Mr Stephen Rowe said...

I heard it was a Lagavulin. It's not a show stopper but is an easy drinking expression of Islay if, like me, you have to hold back the cask-strength Laphroaig for semi-special occasions...

Mr Stephen Rowe said...

Michael Fraser Milne of Whisky Galore says Lagavulin has not sold any Whisky to independent bottlers for 11 years so it's not that...

Caol Ila?