Origin: Isle of Islay and Lowlands (Scotland)
Type: Blended Scotch Whisky
Ageing barrels: Ex-Bourbon, finishing in ex-Sherry butt
Additional coloring: No
Owner: Aceo Ltd.
Average price: € 152.00
Official website: www.murray-mcdavid.com
Having filed the digression with the excellent Glenlossie, we return to Murray McDavid’s blends, a category in which the bottler is at his best.
As the name suggests, we are on Islay, with a whisky born of the marriage of two much-loved distilleries, Bowmore and Laphroaig, with a dash of single grain from the Lowlands of the ubiquitous North British.
Part of the Crafted Blend series, it contains whiskies distilled in 1989 and matured in ex-Bourbon casks, blended to finish in Sherry butt, giving birth to 218 bottles after 30 years, in 2019, at cask strength.
A blended, let’s say, important.
Gold in the glass.
The first impact on the nose is very citrusy, orange peel and lemon zest grafted onto an acrid, vegetal peat, with marked oceanic veins of strong minerality. Apricot brioche, pine nuts, cinnamon and a slight underlying acidity complete the pleasantly coastal bouquet.
In the mouth, it reveals its sherried and warm side with wild berries, sour cherries, cinnamon and wood astringency, with peat acting as a common thread with a compact smoke on still maritime and acrid tones, alongside a full-bodied presence of orange and chinotto. Ginger and touches of nutmeg punctuate the dram, which is renewed with every sip by a sparkling soul.
The finish is long and saline, of ash and orange, nutmeg, almonds and a hint of bitterness.
Subtle, elegant, a walk on the beach dotted with bonfires at dusk, with those little shivers of coolness after a day in the sun, whetting the appetite before dinner. Balanced and solid, almost aperitif-like on a summer evening.