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Ian Macleod Independent Bottlers Island of Islay Scotland Smokehead

Smokehead Extra Rare

Review of the airport-exclusive version of the Islay mystery peated malt.

Origin: Isle of Islay (Scotland)
Type: Single Malt Scotch Whisky
Gradation: 40%ABV
Ageing barrels: Ex-Sherry
Chillfiltered: No
Added coloring: No
Owner: Ian Macleod Distillers Ltd
Avearage price: € 60.00
Official website: www.ianmacleod.com
Vote: 84/100

I return to the smoky skull of Islay, a single malt from an unknown distillery, in the limited version for airport shops and therefore not available elsewhere (sort of).

There is little information on this edition, in a litre bottle, curiously with a lower alcohol content than the other versions, companion to the other travel retail edition, Rum Rebel, in a standard bottle with a higher alcohol content.
Marketing mysteries…

Tasting notes

Straw yellow in the glass.
A good dose of sunburnt asphalt greets the nostrils, acrid and pungent, over which bucketfuls of seawater sizzle with slices of pineapple, pear, blood orange, plums, pickled olives, peanuts. There’s a nice sweet/salty contrast to which the addition of caramel, liquorice, vanilla and a drop of lime contributes, while over time the peat aspect mellows and turns towards barbecue. Rich.
In the mouth, the peat acquires a more acidic, vegetal tonality, while not renouncing the ample charcoal toasting on which sweet and savoury flavours of malt, yellow fruit, liquorice, grapefruit, yellow orange and marzipan are spread. Sprinkle of pepper and a light medicinal touch on the length. Tobacco.
Quite long and savoury finish of ginger, ash, liquorice, orange drink.

If it weren’t a sterile exercise, I might venture that the distillery of origin is Ardbeg, in which case it would be truly humiliating to compare this minimal strength whisky with their Blasda, which I personally consider a real disaster. It doesn’t touch excellence here, but it delivers on the promises of a peaty distillate without excess, balanced, all in all sober and satisfying.

Reviews of whisky from Smokehead in the blog:
Smokehead Islay Single Malt
Smokehead Sherry Bomb

Reviews of whisky from Ian Macleod in the blog:
Highland As We Get it
Sheep Dip
Smokehead Islay Single Malt
Smokehead Sherry Bomb

 
     
     
 

   

 

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