So this is a single malt Scotch from Islay (pronounced “Eye-la” for some Gaelic reason). Having reviewed a few single malts from this region before I one the profile and can say that this is a great introduction to the style. The style in question is characterized by peaty – smokey – with a slight slant of salty. Sometimes this signature style can be over present and imposing to the uninitiated. This not the case for this expression, it is a great entry into the island mix
To those who wish to explore in a different direction, the price point and assuaged flavour profile are ideal for new comers.
With a nose that gives an easy scent of smoke, peat and spice you are invited to try the palate that is true to the nose. It gives over to a clear mouthfeel. Once on the palate there is a clear presence of spice on the tongue, it’s a quick passage but it registers. The peat and smoke develop as I swish the liquid around my mouth trying to extract any hints of other flavours. I had occasion to share this tasting with a “peat head”, and she was able to discern some accents of sea salt, once it was pointed out I confirm that the tail end of the palate has hints of salt. It’s always nice to have another palate to play out the flavours that one can miss. And sharing a dram over conversation is really the tangible expression of whisky.
The finish is quick, it goes away in a whisp, slightly underwhelming but invites a second take. The peat is almost a suggestion compared to the spicy notes that have a slight medicinal quality. But all of that fades away and leaves a slight glycerol film, not unpleasant, just too fleeting.
This is a good bottle to open up the view on what different scotches can offer, they aren’t all ambrosia and that’s a good thing, a dram for every taste. As well the price point is attractive, it’s a good stop gap in the cupboard so you won’t drain all the good stuff.