Independent Bottlers Island of Islay Lagavulin Distillery Scotland Valinch & Mallet Whisky from 100 to 200 euros

Valinch & Mallet South Shore 2008 13yo

Review of a mysterious Islay whisky, part of the The Peat(y)ful Pack Madness series

Origin: Isle of Islay (Scotland)
Type: Single Cask Single Malt Scotch Whisky
Gradation: 52.9%ABV
Ageing cask: Ex-Caroni Rum barrel
Chillfiltered: No
Additional coloring: No
Owner: Valinch & Mallet Ltd.
Average price: € 120.00
Official website: www.valinchandmallet.com
Vote: 87/100

The third peated bottle in the fourth incarnation of The Spirit of Art series, united by the theme The Peat(y)ful Pack Madness, takes us back to the home of Scottish peat, the island that for many is now synonymous with the smoky whiskies of Scotland.
An undeclared distillery (but that’s an open secret), under the label created by artist Laurina Paperina it offers a 2008 distillate that was produced in 292 bottles after resting for more than seven years in a classic ex-Bourbon cask, and then spending another (abundant) five years in a decidedly unusual and unprecedented cask, a Caroni rum barrel defined as “fairly unloaded” by those who chose it.
Caroni was a Trinidad distillery which closed its activity in 2003, but many of their casks were retrieved by Luca Gargano for its company, Velier.

Tasting notes

The nose is very distinctive, with aromatic notes and a certain freshness that you don’t expect, a mixture of herbs soaked in olive oil alongside balsamic vinegar, emmenthal cheese, pineapple, brown sugar and a hint of gum at the bottom. The smoke is subtle, like feasting by the light of a lit candle. Elegant and distinctive, it evolves over time and becomes even silkier.
In the mouth, the fruity part grows, adding apple, pear and a discreet contribution of candied orange to the tropics. Fizzy and peppery, with the aromatic herbs taking a back seat while maintaining a certain balsamic component, it becomes drier in length while maintaining that hint of smoke that gives it depth while working in concert with the flavors. A hint of candyfloss smeared on leather. A lovely symphony, harmonious and full.
The finish is quite long and dry, with saline touches, citrus, leather, tropical fruit, dull wick, a hint of coffee.

An unusual Lagavulin that has not, however, lost its identity, the (long) refinement in rum has added unique but well-blended distinctive traits, offering an unusual and curious depth, very pleasant, a successful and fascinating digression.

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Reviews of whisky from Valinch & Mallet in the blog

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