Wednesday, November 13, 2013

Isle of Skye 8 year old & 12 year old

Isle of Skye 8 Year Old

Whisky Type: Blended Scotch Whisky

Bottle Size: 750ml

Alcohol by Volume: 43%

Notes: This is a blend I picked up on the spur of the moment. I was looking for something to take along on a road trip vacation. My daughter was about to finish a semester interning at a family resort best known for it's large rodent mascot, and my wife and I were going to spend a week down there on vacation before bringing her back home. I needed something with a secure top, that would travel well on a long road trip. I was browsing the racks at a local wine and sprits store and found this, bargain priced at under $25, and decided it was worth a chance. Not only did it survive a trip to Florida and back, but it was so good that it's become a regular staple in my home bar. 

Isle of Skye is a blend from Ian MacLeod Distillers Limited, owners of Glengoyone and Tamdhu distilleries, and a very diverse portfolio of independent bottlings and blends, including Smokehead Single Malt and the well known Chieftain's Range, just to name a few. 

Isle of Skye 8 year old Blended Scotch Whisky, is a whisky that reminds me of older bottling's of Johnnie Walker! It's got a kick of oily and peppery peat, likely coming from Caol Ila, and Talisker (the only distillery on the Ilse of Skye). It's also got some nice Speyside and/or Highland malts in the mix, with a strong profile of Bourbon cask Scotch whiskies in the blend, giving off notes of honey and vanilla. This is a really tasty blend, with decent complexity and a strong malt heavy character! 

Nose: This first thing you notice, is the Bourbon notes of honey and vanilla, then the peat and a hint of pepper follow. 

Taste: This is where the complexity comes though, with dark chocolate and vanilla, some almond, peat and spice all competing for attention, without distracting or overpowering each other. 

Finish: The almond ultimately wins, with a medium long finish, with a whiff of smoke and vanilla lingering on. 

My Personal Ranking 1-100: 84/100 (Blend Score)

Isle of Skye 12 Year Old

Whisky Type: Blended Scotch Whisky

Bottle Size: 750ml

Alcohol by Volume: 43%

Notes: The 12 year old version of Isle of Skye has a very similar profile to the 8 year old, so the blend components are very similar, if not the same. The additional age seems to bring out some sherry notes that I didn't notice in the younger version. Maybe some sherry aged Glengoyne has been added to the blend? While I hate the overuse of the word smooth in whisky reviews, the additional 4 years of aging does bring that word to mind. This is a reasonably complex, smooth and integrated, malt heavy blend, at a very reasonable price. 

Nose: Notes of honey and vanilla again, some citrus notes, and the peat you would expect from a whisky carrying this name. 

Taste: A wonderful explosion of flavors, including dark chocolate, vanilla and carmel, ripe orange, smokey peat, and a hint of spice. 

Finish: A pleasant finish where the citrus and peat flavors linger. 

My Personal Ranking 1-100: 86/100 (Blend Score)

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