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Islay Mist 17 Year Old

Feeling Pissed? Try Islay Mist!

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@talexanderReview by @talexander

1st Feb 2013


  • Nose
  • Taste
  • Finish
  • Balance
  • Overall

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Distribution of ratings for this: brand user

Well, this hasn't been my week. My kid has head lice, my washing machine is acting up, my car heater doesn't work properly (this is Toronto in January, ya know), work is ballistic and my grandmother is dying and on her last legs (which is OK - she's in her late 80s, is having multiple strokes, losing her mind, constantly out of it due to medication, and it's her time to go peacefully anyway, so it's all good. Kind of.)

So if you are actually still reading this after that depressing start, rest assured that we are switching gears thanks to a pleasant dram that has improved my day. Islay Mist is a blend created in the 1920s by the then-owner of Laphroaig, Ian Hunter, to celebrate the 21st birthday of the son of the Laird of Islay House, Lord Margadale. But who wants to celebrate with a Laphroaig single malt? Too much iodine, smoke and peat, too challenging and singular. So Ian mixed it with some grain whisky, threw in some Glenlivet and other single malts, and voila - partay in da Islay House! MacDuff International markets this as Islay Mist, offering a standard Deluxe, 8 year old, 12 year old and this 17 year old, which won Best Scotch Blend (13-20 years old) at the 2008 World Whiskies Awards.

The colour is dark buttery gold (thanks to some caramel, no doubt). On the nose, there is dark honey, a hint of peat smoke, toasted almonds, briny sea - and fish! Of course, medicinal iodine as befits Laphroaig, which gets a little more pronounced with water.

The mouthfeel is thinner than you might think, but with a little more peat. There is a light, slightly herbal sweetness, with vanilla from the oak. Buttery with water. Incredibly easy to drink but still with that hint of Laphroaig in the background. Nice but leaves me a little wanting - perhaps because of my affinity for Laphroaig and other Islay malts.

The finish starts off short, then develops deeper into something long and ashen. Lively and rich, the balance of smoke and sweet works well. This is a very good Scotch, a blend for the committed Islay single malt lover looking for something more approachable but still hitting the desired flavour profile. My day has gotten a little better.

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michaelschout commented

I feel for you with the whole car heater thing. It has not been a pleasant couple of weeks weather-wise.

I'm glad you did this review. I've been quizzical about this whisky for some reason, but you've certainly clarified the value in its price for me.

10 years ago 0

talexander commented

@michaelschout - the Islay Mist 17 is definitely worth it's price.

ps. I'm starting to get really frustrated with this website. My review of Islay Mist 17 Year Old has a picture of Compass Box Spice Tree FOR NO REASON (not to mention no expression in the Islay Mist range is represented internally at all). And next to it, the "Best Price Online" features Evan Williams 1783 bourbon and Glen Garioch 1797 single malt. I guess the number "17" is causing all sorts of paranormal activity in the server. But hey, it's a free website, so who am I to complain.

10 years ago 0

michaelschout commented

I noticed those things too. I thought that maybe there was a screw up with the picture because the review right after yours is for Spice Tree. Who knows.

10 years ago 0

talexander commented

This mixup of pictures etc seems to happen a lot since they re-formatted the reviews and featured the pricing next to it. Generally, I think the new format is great but those bugs need to be fixed...

10 years ago 0

WhiskyBee commented

Wish we could add our own pictures, as we can for our cabinets, for expressions not in the database. Just a thought.

Hope life is better for you soon, @talexander. Great review, as always. By the way, did you mean "pissed" in the American or British sense?

10 years ago 0

talexander commented

Ha - @WhiskyBee - I'm guessing the American sense is "ticked off"? Then yes!

10 years ago 0

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