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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    • 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.

  • 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.