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Marks & Spencer Islay 12yo

Independent Islay

0 072

IReview by @Ilja

18th Mar 2012


  • Nose
  • Taste
  • Finish
  • Balance
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  • Brand: Marks & Spencer
  • ABV: 40%

This small 20cl bottle met my eye when I was doing my groceries. It was quite affordable (£12), worth the try in my opinion. The distiller is not mentioned, but the content of the bottle should be a "first class example of classic Islay single malt". The bottle is closed of with a small cork, which quite pleases me. Always gives a sort of feeling of quality to it. That's probably also why they have chosen for cork in the first place. Then the first smell, which is indeed quite Islay-like. Lots of sweet smoke, a bit of earl-grey black tea, some citrus candy, salty air and wet wood, spicy. The taste continues where the smell started, with a strong sweet smoky, peaty flavor at first, which is very nice, then immediately loads of acidy salty flavours. Also quite oily. There are some tones of smokey vanilla afterwards, but the finish isn't too long, and the alcohol taste, which reminds me of cheap grappa or grape alcohol, is quite predominant. Somewhere, far away, leathery tobacco and iodine come through, but I really had to search for it. The oily aftertaste remains quite long, with more tobacco and sweet smoke present, but not very strong. It reminded me also very faintly of a fish smokehouse, in a good way. I would say that it is a good example of a very general Islay whisky, with no special casks used and quite low phenolic PPM content. Overall fair quality for money, although I would still recommend other Islays.


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