Origin: Isle of Islay (Scotland)
Type: Single Malt Scotch Whisky
Ageing casks: Ex-Bourbon
Added colorouring: No
Owner: Morrison Distillers
Average price: € 50.00
Official website: mactallawhisky.com
The Morrison family (already known on these pages for their single cask bottlings under Càrn Mòr label) has a five-generation link to whisky, crossing its destiny with that of the island of Islay when they acquired the Bowmore distillery in 1963.
A lot of water (and distillate) has passed under the bridge since then, including the arrival of new Japanese ownership who also took over the family’s other labels (Auchentoshan and Glen Garioch), but this has not stopped their passion for whisky and their search for fine and distinctive casks.
This has led Morrison Distillers (formerly Morrison & Mackay) to create a new label, Mac-Talla (echo in Gaelic), which aims to strengthen the relationship with Islay, and debuts with two bottles, Terra and Mara, which represent the two basic elements of the precious distillate: Earth and Sea.
The distillery of origin is not declared (but it takes little to guess what it is), and the two versions differ in alcohol content: 46%ABV Terra and 58.2% ABVMara at cask strength.
Needless to say, which shall I open first?
Straw yellow in the glass.
The nose is a mixture of mineral and smoky, where the peat becomes vegetal and humid as the name recalls next to a lit bonfire by the sea, with a decisive vein of freshness embodied by fruit (peach, kiwi, apple), grapefruit, lemon cream, pastry. Reefs. Pungent and captivating, without any alcoholic exuberance.
You get the alcohol on the palate, with a peppery and sparkling entry of ginger, citrus (mandarin and chinotto), more fruit with a growth of kiwi and apple, cloves, lemon in abundance, malt. Catalan cream. Much smokier than on the nose, almost like grilled shellfish, always with a strong mineral and salty component, especially along the length.
The finish is quite long and salty, with citrus, green apple, cooked cream (toasted, I would say), ash.
A cask strength whisky at a popular price and at this level is a rare treat, straightforward and drinkable with a proudly coastal soul that is bound to make lovers of island peat fall in love.
Reviews of whisky from Mac-Talla in the blog: