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- Brand: Malts of Scotland
- ABV: 53.2%
German independent bottler Malts of Scotland revealed a new Images of Islay series in 2013. Every bottle is marked with a distinguished landmark. The mark itself gives a clue to the distillery providing the cask.
MacArthur's Head lighthouse guards the entrance Islay and watches over the ferry route to Port Askaig. And what lies near the harbour? Indeed, Diageo's mega distillery Caol Ila. A frequent supplier of quality independent bottlings.
Tasting Notes Colour: This whisky is very pale. Light yellow, like certain grappas. I think this one is fairly young. There is almost no sign of legs after swirling the glass.
Nose: The youngster does not attempt to hide it's heimat. A first nosing reveals medicinal notes and peat smoke, supported by vanilla and malt. Charcoal, wet soil, potting soil, humus. Earthy is the perfect descriptor. The second nosing transports you to a chemical facility. Paint, sulphur, and burning rubber. This MacArthur's is a quite aggressive fellow.
Taste: The palate affirms his loud-mouth braggart (Army of Darkness, anyone?) attitude. Again rubber, lighted matches and plastic. Water calms it down with notes of pepper, lemon and cut grass.
Finish: The finish is relatively long. You're chewing on some Play-Doh. Eventually it sweetens a little bit.
Conclusion Wham! What a beastly dram! It treats you to everything Islay has to offer. Not even two years ago I would not have finished this glass. Luckily my palate evolved and I enjoyed it!
A bottle costs approximately € 66. An honest price for a NAS of an independent bottler. Available in specialist stores. I bought my own sample at The Bonding Dram.
The identity? I'm putting my money on a 5-year old Caol Ila from a refill bourbon barrel.