Whisky Connosr

McClelland's Islay Single Malt

McClelland's Islay Single Malt

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FReview by @Frank1

9th Jan 2013


McClelland's Islay Single Malt
  • Nose
  • Taste
  • Finish
  • Balance
  • Overall

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Distribution of ratings for this: user

  • Brand: McClelland's
  • ABV: 40%

Attractive packaging with no mention of age statement. Light golden color.

Immediately after the pour, the nose is Islay without being overpowering or offputting for the unitiated.

Nose: salty bacon, peat, smoke, some dirt, sea water, band-aid and something fishy and metallic that's not unpleasant (like the smell of your hands after catching a trout). Smooth. Adding water doesn't do much for the nose, except maybe weaseling out some wood character out of the whisky.

Palate: much of the same, altough it is less refined and more one dimensional with the peat, salt water, band-aid and bacon dominating. There's a slight citrus note at the end, probably due to the young nature of the whisky. The palate is also somewhat harsh and bright, but not as much as I would've expected from a young spirit. I prefer nosing this than drinking it.

Finish: longish, dry, but flat with smoke, bog and dirt. Not a lot of oomph. The smoke still dances in the nostrils and mouth a few minutes after sipping.

Overall: A decent to good bottle, which was surprising to me. Sure it doesn't measure up to the Bowmores, but at 35$ a bottle in Quebec (the Bowmore 12 is almost 60$), this makes for a good, very approachable dram that doesn't fatigue the palate, doesn't need much work to be enjoyable and boasts a tremendous price/quality ratio.

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BlueNote commented

I think I saw somewhere, maybe Jim Murray's Whisky Bible, that it is, in fact, a young Bowmore. Pretty goog bang for the buck, even in Canada.

11 years ago 0

Victor commented

@Frank1, I am in sync with all of your points on quality and price. And yes, McClelland's Islay does appear to be a young Bowmore. McClelland's Islay is basic and doesn't get a lot of love, but I find it quite enjoyable. Jim Murray gives it the highest number rating I have ever seen for it, 88. There is a young "rough and ready" quality about it, though, that turns a lot of people off, it seems...and sometimes I wonder if some people won't give it a chance because it is inexpensive. Your $ 35 in Quebec for, I surmise, 750 ml, looks extremely expensive to me here. I paid about 35% of that price: $ 28 for 1.75 Litres of McClelland's Islay. That was 2 years ago, though, and prices have climbed a bit.

11 years ago 0

Pudge72 commented

It's $33 in Ontario, and does seem to be the most well regarded of the McClelland's line. Nice write up @Frank1!

11 years ago 0

Frank1 commented

Scotch IS very expensive up here, even the blends. I also like a lot of the canadian whisky offerings, which very often offer good to great quality for the price (Gibson's Finest 12 yo and Wiser's Small Batch are a mainstay of my cabinet). Pity that the SAQ (the equivalent of the LCBO in Quebec) can't get its head out of its own backside and start getting some of the products from the new distilleries that are popping up in Canada in the US (Forty Creek especially), but that's for another day.

Returning to McClelland's, rough and ready is an apt descriptor of its nature: it reminds me of the early mornings fishing with my grandad, with the sea air, the smell of the fish and the scent of his twelfth cigarette of the day :)

11 years ago 0