Bottler Morrison & Mackay has launched a new range under ‘Regional Single Malts’. Sounds a bit much like Douglas Laing’s ‘Remarkable Regional Malts’, I say. Anyway. Their Islay malt is named The Big Strand and is a young Caol Ila. A bottle will set you back some 40 EUR, which is cheap. This first batch of 2.500 bottles was vatted with 6 casks – judging by the color, all of them refill bourbon. FYI: The Big Strand is in fact a large sandy beach of around 7 kilometers that runs from Laggan Point in the north to Kintra and the Oa peninsula in the south, with the Islay airport in the middle.
The nose is soft and sweet, fruity on white fruit (apples, pears) and honey with lots of vanilla. After a few moments some salt and ashes come to the fore. Some diesel oil too. A fisherman’s boat. This is a very friendly Caol Ila, if you know what I mean.
Unfortunately the malt has no body at all. Almost watery. Pity. At first it is very sweet (almost too sweet) with honey, caramel and After Eight. Then it becomes smoky and maritime. But again all very soft and friendly.
The finish is short, softly peppery and mildly drying.
Very easy Caol Ila, candy-like and not too much peat. Card players’ whisky. And bang for your buck, to be sure.