Isle of Skye (8 year)

Isle of Skye, despite the name, is a blended scotch containing whisky from several areas of Scotland. Indeed, a proportion of Talisker (the only distillery on the island of Skye, off the western coast of the Scottish Highlands) is represented, as well as a blend of gentler Speyside malts, some “Island” (which could refer to Islay, Orkney, or Skye) malt, and some grain whisky. According to the bottler the youngest whisky is 8 years old (which, by law, dictates the age on the bottle), but the blend contains some “much older” whisky. The blend is aged in an ex-bourbon barrel and bottled at 43% ABV. The company, Ian Macleod Distillers, will be releasing a 12-year version soon.

Nose: I’m detecting only a bare suggestion of Talisker. Nice prickly lemon drop and mild peat, with some pear notes on top.

Palate: Burny – evident young grain. Very crisp, with marshmallow and more sweet lemon. Peat reveals itself on the tongue as mossy and slightly musty.

Finish: More smokey than the nose. A little rough, and some bitterness creeping in. Finally there is a suggestion of Talisker sea-salt!

Overall: There can’t be much Talisker in here, unless my senses are failing me. The grain component is pretty rough, as expected for a youngish blend. The malt, which may be of higher proportion than most NAS blends, doesn’t provide much Talisker brine, peaty character, or any fruity/floral speysider qualities. It’s a very in-between whisky for drinkers who don’t like big peat, big fruit, or big malt. Better than the cheaper NAS blends, though, especially if you like your peat light and crisp. I would definitely class this above The Black Grouse. I believe that this, like many mild mid-range blends, will grow on you as you go through a bottle. With only a small sample pour to gauge it, I wasn’t impressed. On the upside, it’s very cheap at around $28 a bottle.

Isle of Skye (8 year)
43% ABV
ScotchNoob™ Mark:
Price Range: $27-$32
Acquired: (1/4 oz tasting sample) K&L Wines and Spirits, Redwood City, CA.

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3 thoughts on “Isle of Skye (8 year)

    1. Rich,
      Honestly I’m fine with retailers promoting tastings etc. via my comments, but please don’t write them assuming everyone knows where Mora’s Wines is. (Setauket, NY, I had to look it up.) Please include the date and location of events if you post them like this. Thanks.

  1. In the realm of moderately priced and well crafted blends, I find Isle of Skye to be quite nice, particularly at around $25-30 per 750ml here in NorCal. It is a simple, light smoky, sweet smooth blend with some nuance in almost the same vein to me as Black Bottle, Teacher’s, White Horse and JW Black Label. It is slightly less peaty/smoky than Teacher’s but at about the same level as the others mentioned, none of which are peat bombs but all give a little Islay (or Talisker) smoke with the sweet. Granted the sweet is grainier rather than maltier, but for the price point this is a very enjoyable dram. I tend to put all of these brands mentioned into a similar peg, and I think especially for the money it holds its own, and is very consistent like JWBL and White Horse. I find with Teacher’s and BB sometimes you get a weird bottle. I think this is recommended in my world.

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