'As We Get It' Cask Strength Islay Single Malt (Ian MacLeod)
Peated Single Malt — Islay, Scotland
Reviewed December 22, 2020 (edited March 11, 2021)
Note - I'm doing the Really Good Whisky Company Advent Calendar. I've also decided to pour these whiskeys "blind" (or at least as blind as I can), then providing nose, palate, and finish notes. I'll then look at the label, proof, cask type, etc. before writing my other notes. I'll be providing some guesses around things like proof and cask type and then seeing how much I missed the mark. Slàinte Mhath! Nose: Peat? Musty funk? Guessing a younger spirit, like 3-7 years. Single malt? I'm not mad at this nose. Unique but in the realm of an Islay or Island. Just a touch of brine and lemon. Some toasted grain and vanilla. Berries and chocolate. Bright, floral perfume. Almost getting into potpurri territory. If this is as young as I think it is, the cask type is going to be hard to tease out, but I'm thinking this is ex-bourbon. There may be some kind of sherry or red wine, but likely not first fill since the impact seems quite low. Neighborhood of 45% abv? Grassy, slight wet cardboard. Palate: This dances - bits of earth, ash, and vanilla swirling around. Milk chocolate and orange oil, too. Is this higher proof than I'm expecting? Closer to 60%? Pine sap, brine - this is like standing at a coast that's next to a forest in the middle of fall, a camp fire burning nearby. Bright and shiny, this is off balance. Black pepper, grilled salmon with lemon and dill. Hits the mid palate with a good amount of force. Medium mouthfeel, but all that youth and ABV helps this "feel" lighter due to the effervescent quality. Finish: A puff of ash, ambient wet earth, and sea spray. There's a bracing, bitter lemon that grabs the sides of the tongue. Bitter chocolate, canned black olives. And we fade out between bitterness, ash, and ethanol. Long finish. Other notes: Got region, got close enough on abc (this bottling is 60.6%), got mash bill. Can assume cask is probably correct along with age, but I can't confirm either. My palate (and other reviews) all seem to confirm this is young spirit. Just like an earlier sample in this calendar, I wonder if this was a cask that was simply not headed in the right direction as it was aging. It's not that I don't find young Islay appealing (Wee Beastie being an excellent example), this just doesn't fall withint he parameters I tend to favor. That being said, this is an intense, funky adventure. A fun glass to explore with, though maybe not one I'd get a whole bottle of. Cheers!