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Secret Islays


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Hello, that is one in every of our (virtually) every day tastings. Santé!



September 9, 2021



Shh… Apéritif please…

This isn’t Al Capone, that is John Brown, White Horse’s blender for 50 years (Diageo) ->

Johnnie Walker 12 yo 'Black Label Islay Origin' (42%, OB, blended malt, +/-2020)

Johnnie Walker 12 yo ‘Black Label Islay Origin’ (42%, OB, blended malt, +/-2020) Three stars and a half
I do know, not likely ‘an Islay’ but it surely’s geared in the direction of the queen of the Hebrides, is it not. Until it is all Islay inside certainly, you by no means know… Color: gold. Nostril: it’s not a vatting of Caol Ila and Lagavulin, however the smoke is relatively distinguished, you’ll consider some Eighties batches of White Horse mix. Just a few buttery tones, somewhat ale, a good meatiness (bacon), somewhat camphor, one thing faintly metallic and sooty… White Horse certainly! Mouth: it’s frankly peaty, this isn’t only a advertising trick (marketeers do no tips!) Good lemons (virtually fizzy), inexperienced apples, oysters, kippers, I am even discovering wee touches of maître d’hôtel butter, the anticipated almonds, riesling… All that with a pleasant freshness. It clearly is a peater. End: medium however that is simply the decrease energy. Touches of caramel, brine, white wine sauce, lemon drops… Feedback: I used to be anticipating only a ‘peaty coloration’ however this child’s way more ‘Islay’ than that.
SGP:444 – 83 factors.

Islay 'Batch 1' (46%, Whic, 1000 bottles, 2021)

Islay ‘Batch 1’ (46%, Whic, 1000 bottles, 2021) Four stars
Not a lot information however some good individuals, good value and good expectations. It is a single malt. Color: pale white wine. Nostril: first fills your room with peat smoke, then shows pears, peated grist, soot, coal, kelp and oysters. In all probability fairly younger but it surely’s well-known that heavy peat would disguise and masks many imperfections. Notes of fish and mercurochrome too. Mouth: candy and fruity, on a strong peaty base. Extra pears, grapefruits, then extra soot, peat, kelps and whelks. I like whelks – not that now we have a really private relationship thoughts you. Some chalk too, whereas it might are likely to turn out to be extra mineral certainly. Chalk and soot. End: medium, clear, saltier, sauvignony. Feedback: who might ask for extra? Very top quality/value ratio.
SGP:557 – 86 factors.

Mac-Talla 15 yo 2006/2021 'Strata' (46%, Morrison, Islay, bourbon and sherry)

Mac-Talla 15 yo 2006/2021 ‘Strata’ (46%, Morrison, Islay, bourbon and sherry) Four stars
Branded secret Islay single malt, all the fashion today. Color: white wine. Nostril: a gentler nostril that might properly be Caol Ila as it might show vegetal oils (sesame), oysters, kelp, overripe apples, some softer contemporary almonds, a whole lot of lime, some brine, and one olive for good measure. I discover it relatively ’25’ than ’15’, which is nice information, clearly. Some CIs from the Eighties was a bit like this, however so have been most Nineteen Nineties and 2000s Bowmores. Mouth: somewhat wilder, somewhat extra on bone-dry white wines, with a beautiful sourness, some lime and lemon juices, chalk… What we name a vertical nostril. Nutshell, it might style relatively 10 than 15, go determine, but it surely’s wonderful. End: somewhat quick maybe, with some cider apples and extra contemporary almonds. The smokiness would fade away somewhat bit however we’ll discover fairly some brine within the aftertaste. And riesling. Feedback: wonderful, form of the alternative of the younger Whic. I am certain a number of extra watts would have carried out it a lot good. Oh and the title Morrison certain suggests this may very well be Bowmore.
SGP:465 – 86 factors.

Islay Malt 10 yo 2008/2019 (53.1%, Maltbarn, sherry, 164 bottles)

Islay Malt 10 yo 2008/2019 (53.1%, Maltbarn, sherry, 164 bottles) Four stars
Let’s do that rapidly, I ought to have tried it two years in the past. Color: straw. Nostril: a buttery peat and some medicinal tones, then smoked herbs and lots of roasted nuts, all that sprinkled with grapefruit juice. With water: traditional mercurochrome, kelp, marzipan, lemon curd, benzine. Mouth (neat): the oak feels somewhat extra however it might complement these notes of grapefruits. Touches of tropical fruits, as if this was viognier, then ‘candied peat’ and somewhat tar. With water: as virtually all the time, water works very properly however makes it a tad sweetish. That is the younger age. Candies, lemon drops… End: relatively lengthy, medicinal. Cough drugs, prepared for winter! Feedback: similar ballpark, they’re all superb. This one was intriguingly candy.
SGP:457 – 85 factors.

Supersonic 2013/2021 'Mach 4' (60%, North Star Spirits, blended malt, sherry butts, 716 bottles)

Supersonic 2013/2021 ‘Mach 4’ (60%, North Star Spirits, blended malt, sherry butts, 716 bottles) Four stars and a half
Nowhere does it say that there is any Islay whisky in there, however neither does it say there is no, so I simply could not wait since some mates have been saying that this was ‘relatively somewhat large’. We will see… Color: gold. Nostril: butterscotch, engine oil, toasted brioche, roasted peanuts, carbolineum, mocha, Barbour grease, baked raisins… With water: a spicy cake in liquid kind. Spicy, not space-y, uh. Mouth (neat): enormous, on sultanas, butterscotch, marmalade and allspice. The tough half is that you might quaff this simply, whereas the energy is fairly hefty. They need to add a warning. With water: tight, tart and jammy, all the time with a whole lot of spices. This many spices might have been problematic however under no circumstances, quite the opposite. End: lengthy. Truckloads of dried figs coming out, plus candy wine gravy. Feedback: no peaty Islayness right here however at the very least we tried. Excellently trendy and but complicated; as they are saying, this wee whisky would go properly with extra of this wee whisky.
SGP:561 – 88 factors.

The subsequent one to pricey Roland Puhl, who sadly handed away final week. He was one of many originators of that seminal whisky store in Limburg Germany, known as Malt Rarities A.Ok.A. MARA. Here is to Roland…

Mac-Talla ‘Mara’ (58.2%, Morrison, Islay, bourbon, 2021) Four stars and a half
No age and no classic this time, however they cranked up the amount. Color: white wine. Nostril: bare, uncooked, kilny. Visiting a malting plant whereas they’re doing heavy peat. That is all this far. I imply, it is uncommon to come across a wee whisky that noses precisely like a handful of peated malted barley. With water: new tyres and plasticine for a wee whereas, then williams pears. Mouth (neat): that is crystal. Lemon, brine and uncooked peat. With water: pears chiming in but once more. So lemon, pear, brine and uncooked peat. End: ashes, sardines, lemon curd, ardour fruits (bingo) and oysters. Mezcal within the aftertaste. Feedback: immaculate and good, very spectacular. What’s extra, on condition that this must be very younger, all batches ought to be fairly comparable. A no brainer, I am virtually floored. Nearly.
SGP:467 – 88 factors.

A final one… (we thought six would do whereas the supersonic North Star would not rely)…

Single Islay Malt Whisky 31 yo 1989/2021 (51.9%, Thompson Bros., refill barrel, 259 bottles)

Single Islay Malt Whisky 31 yo 1989/2021 (51.9%, Thompson Bros., refill barrel, 259 bottles) Five stars
Color: straw. Nostril: inexperienced tea and getting into an outdated herbalist’s store, somewhat plasticine, some marzipan, sunflower, linseed and rapeseed oils, tincture of iodine, creosote, crabs, embrocations, humorous whiffs of chilly stewed artichokes, outdated garments within the outdated wardrobe, then hints of mud and dung, in addition to ‘L-type’ brine. With water: typical, uncooked lambswool, seaside sand, clams, gum Arabic, somewhat beeswax… Typical outdated peater that will get complicated whereas the smoke’s being ‘digested’ (for lack of a greater phrase). Mouth (neat): pumpkin bread, seawater, lemon juice, cider, iodine and clams. Fairly fats, relatively spherical, requires water. With water: a wee dustiness, some fragrant, mentholy herbs, inexperienced lemons, brine, muscadet… End: medium, relatively comfortable, with extra linseed oil. Smoked salmon. Feedback: an outdated peater leaving the world of the heavy peaters to turn out to be extra complicated, delicate, perhaps reflective and absolutely somewhat mental. Fractal growth. Oh and did you discover these wee stills formed like oil lamps on the label? Exatcly the identical that they’ve at that well-known distillery that begins with an L and doesn’t finish with a N.
SGP:565 – 90 factors.








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