By Richard Thomas
Persevering with up Ian Macleod Distillers’ ladder of Isle of Skye blended whiskies has taken me to their 18 12 months Outdated expression. It’s a fairly typical development, actually, though one which appears to point out giant jumps to American eyes. The cooler, milder local weather of Scotland and heavy reliance on used cask inventory means Scotch whiskies mature extra slowly than their American counterparts. It’s customary working process to see a line begin with an eight or ten 12 months previous expression, then a twelve or fifteen 12 months previous, after which in all probability an eighteen 12 months previous earlier than transferring on into the twenties.
That this expression is now out there within the US and in common distribution is because of a current change in liquor legal guidelines, permitting the 700 ml bottles the worldwide liquor trade considers customary to be imported into the nation. Previous to that, all imports needed to be in 750 ml bottles. Like the remainder of the Isle of Skye line, it is a whisky primarily based on sourced inventory acquired by Ian Macleod Distillers. The malt facet of the mix takes peated Island whiskies and combines it with Highland and Speyside inventory. As a mix, grain whisky from an undisclosed supply can also be a part of the recipe. The 18 12 months Outdated is bottled at 40% ABV.
This middle-aged Scotch has a copper look within the glass. I discovered the nostril to be gentle and ethereal, almost to the purpose of faintness, however berries and sea spray coupled to cinnamon and pepper have been there. The flavour gives butterscotch and pound cake, served on a platter of dry, peppery wooden. The gentle, subdued character of the nostril continues on, nevertheless, so the peppered dryness is sort of restrained. The end can also be a contact dry and peppery, however fades quick.
That is an 18 12 months previous that doesn’t actually supply the wow issue that so many jumps into the center aged vary do. My feeling about it’s that whereas the 18 12 months Outdated is undeniably higher than the 12 12 months Outdated, I gave each a B. If I have been grading essays as a substitute of whiskies, the latter would rating an 84 and the latter an 86. All that mentioned, the value level continues to be very reasonable (see under), so give it a glance.
Formally, a bottle of Isle of Skye 18 is pegged at $64.99.