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Ian Macleod Independent Bottlers Island of Islay Scotland Smokehead Whisky from 50 to 100 euros

Smokehead High Voltage

Review of the high-grade version of the Islay smoking head.

Origin: Isle of Islay (Scotland)
Type: Single Malt Scotch Whisky
Gradation: 58%ABV
Ageing casks: N/A
Chillfiltered: No
Added coloring: No
Owner: Ian Macleod Distillers Ltd
Avearage price: € 60.00
Official website: www.ianmacleod.com
Vote: 75/100

Back on these pages after a long time is the rock whisky of Islay, the peated single malt with an aggressive image that winks at fans of metal music and motorbikes.
Apart from the packaging, which may or may not be to your liking, the contents of the bottles of this label are of unknown provenance and, in expressions without age statement, rather young.
This is the ‘high-voltage’ version, with a very high (but not full) alcohol content, about whose production process, apart from the geographical origin, nothing is known, not even the ageing casks.
Personally, I don’t like all this reluctance, I’m for transparency with respect to what I find in the glass, but whatever, the important thing is that it is good.

Tasting notes

On the nose, the promised explosion turns out to be a firecracker, but this is by no means a bad thing. No alcohol at all in the hints of barbecue and burnt wood, caramelised apple, pineapple, cloves, cinnamon, a drop of lemon and hints of vanilla. A fresh coastal breeze wafts over everything. Simple but pleasant.
On the palate, the alcohol becomes much more present, accompanied by a hint of pepper and more pronounced spicy scents, which together with the toasted wood tend to overpower the flavours. At the mouth the maritime component is prominent, almost like sucking on a sea rock, followed by flashes of caramel, vanilla, malted biscuits and citrus impressions. In the long run, however, it is the gradation and roasting that take centre stage, with the pepper dominating.
Quite long finish of pepper, dull embers, salt, burnt sugar.

So young and immature, smoke and alcohol take centre stage during drinking and never let go. There are glimpses of what could be, but it’s all covered up by the excessive voltage that leaves no room for any subtlety or depth. A hit of smoke and salt, but on Islay there is much, much more.

Reviews of whisky from Smokehead in the blog
Reviews of whisky from Ian Macleod in the blog

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