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This was a heel that was left at a little whisky gathering I had a couple of weeks ago (sorry, I don't remember who brought it...)
This is the fourth edition of their Machrie Moor, "The Peated Arran Malt". Done to 14ppm (which seems like nothing compared to the big-peat-dick contest between Bruichladdich and Ardbeg, but believe me, 14ppm is pretty damn peaty), this whisky is named after a mystical peat bog on the west coast of the Isle of Arran. The label speaks of Bronze Age stone circles, standing stones and some legend with a giant warrior and his dog. You know, the usual Scotch whisky blarney. Anyway, this is non coloured, non chill filtered and only 12,000 bottles were produced.
The colour is a very light, dry hay. On the nose, sweet juicy malt with a fine gentle undercurrent of peat. Light citrus, faint smoke, slightly herbal. Grassy. Coconut. White pepper. Faint tobacco. A drop of water reveals more malt and some new spices. Very complex but incredible subtlety - all the notes are there but are very light - yet very fresh.
On the palate, more delicious sweet malt. Oily mouthfeel with underlying peat. Similar notes of citrus and smoke, but less subtle - and spicier. Hint of vanilla. Water makes things oilier and even spicier, which I like. Again, very fresh and clean - a pleasure.
The finish is warm and long, very citrusy with light smoke and dried herbs. This is a lovely, juicy, delicious young light peated malt. I love scotches like this. I wish I had an entire bottle, but alas.....just 2 oz remain - and they're going down the gullet tonight. BTW Jim Murray scores this is strong 95.5.