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McClelland's Islay Single Malt

Tastes like Fight Club!

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@manningsmithReview by @manningsmith

24th Jan 2010


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

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  • Brand: McClelland's
  • ABV: 40%

In a lot of ways, this Glasgow-made 'Islay' tastes like someone snubbed his cigarette in a pool of old blood on the floor of the Lagavulin malting room. What's worse? I like it. It's rich and rough.

1st nose: Smells like an Islay. Smoke. Peat. Brine. Tobacco. Sherry. 1st taste: Tastes woody. Like the barrel char. 1st finish: Peat and ash. Burnt currant.

2nd nose: brine and buttery chardonnay. 2nd taste: mixture of berry and orange reduction, more like a strange cough syrup than compote sauce. 2nd finish: blood and cherries.

3rd nose: currant and tobacco. 3rd taste: dark chocolate and berry. 3rd finish: velvety cigar.

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jdcook commented

Sounds fascinating. How would you rate it against some of the rest of the more famous malts - like the Lagavulin? I only ask because 4.5 out of 10 seems a little low for a malt you like...?

Regardless, added to my wishlist!

14 years ago 0

jeanluc commented

Agreed, very intriguing review. Also interested by the rating...

14 years ago 0

manningsmith commented

Great questions about the rating. I believe the top and the bottom of the scale should be hard to reach. Also, I've had some amazing and fascinating malts, like a Bowmore 39yo, which I would put at the top of the scale. Lagavulin classic 16yo is a perfect yardstick for my scale, because I love it on many levels. I would rate Lagavulin at 8.5 out of 10. I have to respect room at the top for greatness. Likewise, I love Ardbeg's Uigedail and would give it about the same rating. I see a bunch of folks rating things at the top of the scale, which means that good whiskies are perfect and only substandard whiskies get a real rating. That breaks the whole utility of the scale. Just my opinion, but there you go. What do you think? Where would you put Lagavulin relative to the finest dram you've tasted?

14 years ago 0

manningsmith commented

Keep in mind, I'm also comparing it to all the whisky I know I don't like, so while I won't rate it highly, I know it's on the scale of what I like. I could imagine placing a whisky that I respect for being likeable but don't actually like at a similar rating.

14 years ago 0

Xris commented

Great review!

At first I thought it a bit flippant. But I'm sitting here having a wee dram and realised that a "snubbed ... cigarette ... on the floor of the Lagavulin malting room" was pretty-much exactly what I was tasting. A rather blunt analysis of a very positive experience. Accurate and unconventional. Much like the malt in question.

Anyway, I love the stuff! Lagavulin is my perennial favourite, but it's about $125.00 here in Toronto while McClelland's Islay is about $30.00. It therefore presents a very pleasant value proposition.

13 years ago 0

Victor commented

I have to say, I really like this whisky, and can see it as a very nice "everyday dram". Yes, it is young, and a little rough and tumble. It is also pleasant,flavourful,and wears well. I give this one 7.0 for quality, and like even better that I paid $ 28 for 1.75 l!

13 years ago 0