This blend of Island and Speyside malts is like so many high school cliques, in that it achieves exclusivity via exclusion. In this case, it’s the Highland malts that are deliberately left out. Although you can easily imagine one of them biting her nails and wondering aloud, “Ok, so, like, Orkney’s an island, right? So we have to let them in, right?” What about the lowlands, you say, and what about Campbeltown? No one ever said high school cliquishness was logical. Plus, the Lowlands in this case are the geeks who haven’t figured out that dandruff’s problematic—nor that they all have it—so there’s really no sense even considering them. But really, there is no logic here, because it is, just as in composing one’s clique, an aesthetic judgment, a matter of taste. “OK, except for the triple distillation thing: Really?!? Don’t they know the Irish do that?!?”
But speaking of taste, let’s start with the nose: Cajun seasoned frogs’ legs wrapped in corn husks and smoked on a grill. With boiled cherries—on the grill, not in the corn husks. A pencil eraser used to scrape away your mistress’ phone number before your wife can read it on the notepad on the refrigerator. And speaking of the nose, what a pleasant mouth! It’s like caramelized peanut butter perhaps topped with cinnamon. That description doesn’t do it justice, though. And neither will this: it’s just really nice on the mouth, in a burned sort of way. Like crème brulée made without cream, but with recaptured liquid from a New Orleans Bourbon bread pudding instead. The finish is spicy, like popcorn slightly burned in the pan with Red Hots. As the finish burns out, it’s clear that this dram would be great with a little ice on a summer’s day, and perhaps even during a driver’s exam re-test—you know, for the instructor.
Add water and, whoa, it’s the Exxon Valdez in the glass. I stare at the spectacle, transfixed for moment, then find myself reaching for my latex gloves and seabird scrub kit. John stops me and re-directs my attention to the whisky. With the water added, it’s light—evanescent, even—it might have been effervescent, even, but I can’t be sure. At that point I found myself drinking so lustily, it was gone before I could tell for sure.
The Isle of Skye 8 is “man eating shark”–The name makes it sound like all of humanity’s doing it, when predominantly it’s just those who want to be at the top of the food chain.
Our thanks to Sam Filmus and ImpEx for the sample!