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McClelland is a range of whiskies marketed by Morrison Bowmore Distillers Ltd, known also for their Bowmore, Auchentoshan and Glen Garioch. They purchased T&A McClelland’s, a blender from Glasgow, in 1970. The range as we know it today consists of Speyside, Islay, Lowland and Highland and was launched for the first time in 1986. Recently, a Speyside 12 Year Old was added.
On the nose, I get citrus and peatsmoke, but mostly vanilla and unfortunately something that reminds me of babypuke. Very spirity. Also some tobacco, touch of tar and smoldering wood. After a few more minutes: coffee and hay. Strange combination, if you ask me.
On the palate, this McClelland Islay shows his budget character. Astringent grappa with bitter wood, no balance whatsoever. Berries, maybe? Some salted butter and burnt vanilla. I even make the association of blood (from a bloody nose), slightly metallic. Definitely a young beast!
The finish is (too) long and much too bitter, preventing the Islay character to come out.