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McClelland's Islay Single Malt

Bowmore? More like Bowless.

0 1572

@talexanderReview by @talexander

21st Nov 2015

0

  • Nose
    18
  • Taste
    18
  • Finish
    17
  • Balance
    19
  • Overall
    72

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Distribution of ratings for this: brand user

I have ruined my girlfriend. Not by tarnishing her good name, mind you, or absconding with all of her savings. No, I ruined her by introducing her to Bowmore 12 Year Old. This fine ol' standby had become a daily dram, and it was just getting too much. "At $60 a pop, I can't afford this! Is there a cheaper Bowmore available?" The Small Batch isn't that much less, so I suggested trying the McClelland's Islay. There must be a cheaper way for her to enjoy her favourite distillery!

But McClelland's does not disclose what distillery it comes from, you may say. Well, I'm about 99.9% sure that's what it is, as the McClelland's brand is owned by Morrison Bowmore. That is the only Islay distillery they own, so it stands to reason that this is young NAS Bowmore. But is it an acceptable substitute? Does it measure up?

The colour is a pale yellowish gold. On the nose there is vanilla, honey and butterscotch, with peat woven throughout. Medicinal and floral. Lemon curd and apricots. Not much oak; you can tell this is quite young, but water helps even it out.

Quite briny on the palate - and oakier than the nose - with more vanilla as well. The butterscotch is further in the background. Again, very medicinal. Peaty and sweet, but too spirity - though that is corrected with a drop of water.

The finish is rough, with restrained peat, apple skins and heather honey. There are definitely certain notes that remind one of Bowmore - so I'm quite sure that's what this is. But unfortunately, it is not up to snuff. Although it improves with water, it is no substitute. Pam let out a woeful sigh, turned her back on it, and poured herself a Bowmore 12.

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15 comments

@Nozinan
Nozinan commented

Interesting, I gave Bowmore 12 a 71... so I'd better stay away from this one.

$60 for bowmore 12? I'd easily give up 2 bottles for one Amrut Peated CS, and there would be change with which to buy milk chocolate!

3 years ago 0

@Victor
Victor commented

Cheer up! Pam could have developed a taste for Bowmore 18, which is twice as expensive as the 12 and only very slightly better.

You could also try the "tweener" Bowmore Legend (8 yo) for Pam, though I doubt that Legend will quite make the grade either.

3 years ago 0

@talexander
talexander commented

@Nozinan, yeah you should stay away from this one! I actually love the Bowmore 12 - I think it punches above its weight and is very good value.

@Victor, the Legend is not available in Ontario - your budget "Bowmores" are the 12, Small Batch or this McClelland's. Slim pickings!

3 years ago 0

@Nozinan
Nozinan commented

Tempest is available, at CS for $82, 10 YO. Haven't tried it does anyone know how it compares to Laimrig?

3 years ago 0

@talexander
talexander commented

I believe it is fully bourbon cask, and it is extremely peaty - much more so than the usual Bowmores. I love it.

3 years ago 0

@NAV26
NAV26 commented

I love Tempest too, peaty but fruity, with white peach and leather. My wife really likes the Tempest, specifically batch 2.

3 years ago 0

@Nozinan
Nozinan commented

has anyone tried batch 5? that's the one for sale at LCBO

3 years ago 0

@mscottydunc
mscottydunc commented

@Nozinan I have a bottle open and another sealed, it's fantastic. Got a bottle of Batch 6 on the way from out west as well.

Great value even at the LCBO prices.

3 years ago 0

@Nozinan
Nozinan commented

I may have to avail myself...

3 years ago 0

@BigJoe
BigJoe commented

@talexander is she really that glued to the Bowmore? You need to conduct some blind tests with her perhaps. From what I understand some will turn to a peated blend to save money. I know that used to be Black Bottle before the rebranding. I think Islay Mist is a great blend for example. Im not suggesting they are the same flavour profile but it would be cost effective. Keep the reviews coming

3 years ago 0

@talexander
talexander commented

@BigJoe, she likes many different styles of whisky but her favourites are the peaty Islay malts. Octomore is another big favourite of hers. But yes, there are lots of cheaper whiskies she enjoys but it's hard to break the hold Bowmore has on her!

3 years ago 0

@Nozinan
Nozinan commented

get her a Black Bowmore 30 YO. She'll probably never want another Bowmore after that one!

3 years ago 0

@talexander
talexander commented

@Nozinan, to afford that I will have to stop feeding my child. And myself.

3 years ago 0

@Nozinan
Nozinan commented

Speaking personally, and with my comments not intended to reflect on you in any way, I think I might benefit from not eating for a while, and my kids don't eat enough to impact on my whisky buying. If I ever come across an opening bottle of the BB, I'll be sure to include the 2 of you....

3 years ago 0

@talexander
talexander commented

Ohhhh please do include us! Thank you!

3 years ago 0

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