Friday, December 14, 2018

Whisky Review: Isle of Skye 12 Year

Isle of Skye is a product of Ian Macleod, an independent bottler and the owner of both Glengoyne and Tamdhu distilleries. The brand was pretty low-key for decades with old school, rather plain labels on their bottles and prices to match. They relaunched the lineup a few years ago with new labels and older limited editions. Unfortunately that also means that the price has gone up locally, but I've still been itching to try the older version.

This blend is constructed from grain whisky plus Speyside and Island (of course strongly hinted to be Talisker from the name) malts that are married together in casks before bottling at 40%, almost certainly with chill filtration and possibly a little coloring.

Isle of Skye 12 Year

Nose: rather light - sherry, hints of savory peat, mixed nuts, raisins, vanilla. After adding a few drops of water the sherry gets stronger, there is more peat and oak, plus some baking spices come out.

Taste: balanced malt/grain up front, sherry throughout, a little chocolate and oak in the middle, not a lot of development. After dilution it becomes a little brighter, but with less heat, more noticeable peat at the back, and more vanilla.

Finish: sherry-driven, bittersweet, mild oak, hints of peat

Well, that was kind of disappointing. I really enjoyed the 8 Year, which was far more bold. This is smoother, but just doesn't offer anything particularly interesting. I would buy it over a lot of standard 12 year old blends as the peat adds a little something, but it's just not engaging enough to make me want to drink it on the regular. I'd give this a miss in favor of the younger, cheaper version.

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