Origin: Isle of Islay (Scotland)
Type: Single Malt Scotch Whisky
Ageing casks: Finished in Ex-Rum
Added coloring: No
Owner: Ian Macleod Distillers Ltd
Avearage price: € 60.00
Official website: www.ianmacleod.com
Added in the summer of 2020 to the popular peated series to mark the International Rum Day, this bottling features precisely the rum finishing to an unspecified previous ageing (presumably in ex-Bourbon), as always from a mysterious distillery on Islay.
Aggressive packaging as per its trademark, implying an anarchic profile thanks to a touch of Caribbean rum, winking at the pirate references already present in the logo.
Beyond the communication and marketing, I have found the content so far to be consistently good, and the refinement in rum could be interesting (or a disaster).
The nose is immediately crispy bacon, with lots of BBQ sauce, and a sour vein of pineapple and aniseed. Caramelized popcorn, blood orange, peeled almonds, lemon zest, paprika. Splashes of sea on tar.
Initial hit of pepper is very intense but fades quite quickly on the lips, while in the mouth it flows easily with notes of a bonfire lit with gasoline (don’t try it at home), toasted pineapple, peach and bread, burnt biscuits, orange juice, caramel, leather. As can be guessed, it’s the smoky and toasted part that dominates, with the marine component partially muted.
The finish isn’t very long and sweetish, of ash, pepper, caramel and orange juice.
A mishmash of sweet smoke, with little refinement (but then again, it’s the brand itself that doesn’t promise it) and no moments of great emotion, which at times exceeds in pleasing tones as if it didn’t have a clear idea of itself.
Certainly it will find an admiring public precisely because of this somewhat pandering nature, personally it left me rather unimpressed.