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Isle of Skye 8 Year Old

Whisky Advent Calendar - Day 16

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@talexanderReview by @talexander

17th Dec 2013


Isle of Skye 8 Year Old
  • Nose
  • Taste
  • Finish
  • Balance
  • Overall

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Distribution of ratings for this: brand user

You could be forgiven for thinking, just by the label, that this is an independently bottled Talisker. However, it is a blend of Talisker, Speyside malts and, of course, grain whiskies, all at least eight years old. Ian Macleod Distillers started in 1933 and bottles a range of single malts and other spirit drinks; so why the affinity to Skye? Because the Clan Macleod hails from the island, and so this blend (and it's longer-matured cousins) are very close to their heart.

The colour is a deep coppery gold. On the nose, the Talisker peat-and-brine is there but also honey, caramel and vanilla. There is definitely a firm grain backbone; one would not mistake this for a single malt. Oak, mint and sage. Quite lovely, if a tad subdued, unless you add water which nicely brings out the peat smoke.

The palate is smooth and a little oily, with the brine starting out gentle but getting stronger and stronger the longer you leave it in the mouth. Nutty with a bit of caramel and a tiny bit of peat which, again, is accentuated with a drop of water. Beautiful with just the right amount of bite.

The finish is also gentle at first but becomes deeper, with a little spice and honey. This is very nice, just the right balance between sweet and spice, and really comes alive with water. I'm tasting it side-by-side with my Talisker 2000 DE, and it is clearly is "Talisker" for those who want that flavour without being overpowered. Although I would probably take a Talisker any day over this (I just can't help it), it is very much worth imbibing, and you might like it even more than I do.

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JeffC commented

Odd you can only get the 40% version. I've tried the 43% version several times and quite like it. I suspect the extra ABV gives it a bit more heft although I still can tell it is a blend. I would not rate quite as high as JWB, but better than Black Grouse, and one of my favorite blends.

10 years ago 0