Ailsa Bay Release 1.2 Sweet Smoke

Overall rating
84.48/100
votes
299
Whiskybase ID
WB117422
Category
Single Malt
Distillery
Bottler
Distillery Bottling
Bottling serie
Micro Maturation
Bottled
2018
Casktype
Hudson Whiskey Casks
Number of bottles
9800
Strength
48.9 % Vol.
Size
700 ml 700 ml
Barcode
5010327655697
Added on
09 sep 2018 4:09 pm by holborndrinker
UncoloredNon-chillfiltered

Average value

€ 71.56

39 × in wishlist

299 × member ratings

656 × in collection

Whisky reviews for Ailsa Bay Release 1.2 Sweet Smoke

45 users have left 47 reviews for this whisky. Average rating is 84.48 points.

  1. Gil firth scored this whisky 84 points Expert Senior

    Very young and ashy, grassy, citrus. Good bottle, but does feel young.
    Needs some more years.

  2. teefaxer scored this whisky 74 points Expert Junior

    Just sweet and a little smoky

  3. oleg.wx scored this whisky 85 points Member Senior

    Overall quite nice, sweet smoke, as it the name says, gentle, light, easy drinking.
    • Nose
      85 85
    • Taste
      85 85
    • Finish
      84 84

  4. fnk scored this whisky 84 points Expert Senior

    Good nose, smoky notes mixed with sweet candy motifs. Some off notes you skip the brine)) In general, a very elegant molt, smooth, but at the same time quite simple and fresh.

  5. Sjyoung scored this whisky 75 points Newbie

    A perfectly nice whisky, slight smoky bacon notes, is everything it claims to be, sweet and lightly smoky. But lacks any of the real character that great whisky has.

  6. DenisLeonov scored this whisky 81 points Connoisseur

    Balance (20)
    It's hard to drink, but not bad (81)
    • Nose
      The aroma is sweet, bourbon lacquer, vanilla and a little smoke. (21)
    • Taste
      Smoky, salt and caramel, wood (20)
    • Finish
      Salt, ash, varnish and grass finish (20)

  7. serejja scored this whisky 85 points Expert Senior

    Sweet smoke indeed! Grassy, greenish, minty, metallic, noticeably fruity and sweet, quite young but promising. Not really evolving in the glass and mostly simple and over-alcoholic over time. It just needs more time in the barrel to get more complex notes to it. The taste is simple and straightforward where immaturity is fully felt. Quite burning. Finish is mostly just peat, smoke and sweetness with not so much happening. Rather thick considering how young it is
    • Nose
      86 86
    • Taste
      84 84
    • Finish
      84 84

  8. Vince scored this whisky 69 points Expert Senior

    This one elicits a wide range of reactions. The nose is ashy with some floral elements as in an air fresher spray used in a budget hotel. Found it tough to appreciate it on the mouth, fairly ashy and bitter tasting to me. Rather strong alcohol. However, with some water it went even more pear-shaped, but some sweetish-plastics-chemical taste. Sticky bitterness remains. A palate buster for the night. A bit surprising given it is owned by William Grant.

  9. Sporx scored this whisky 85 points Connoisseur

    Aroma
    Very sweet, but no sherry sweetness, herbs, ashy smoke, tropical fruits

    taste
    Sweet, nice smoke, fruit, greasy, slightly hot, young

    finish
    Long, sweet, greasy, spicy

  10. Finn2206 scored this whisky 84 points Expert Senior

    For me this was a pleasant introduction to this distillery.
    • Nose
      83 83
      Cooked red fruits, honey, vanilla, a surprisingly subtle touch of smoke.
    • Taste
      85 85
      More fresh red fruit, vanilla cake, a punch of smoke at the start that fades quite fast.
    • Finish
      84 84
      Medium finish with sweet fruit dominating. A little oak and smoke on the background.

  11. 67conrad67 scored this whisky 86 points Member Senior

    Smell: Smoked bacon, very clear nose, downright clean for a smoker, sweetish note, overripe pear, showing a little depth, uncomplicated

    Taste: sweet smoke, without rough edges, liquorice, made in a modern way, medium-long, smooth finish

    Color: golden yellow, medium WR., Of course

    Conclusion: smokers from the laboratory, and because you know it, you think you can taste it ..... Unconventional, clear, modern - and still very pleasant to drink!

    Color: 3/3, nose 4/5, palate 2.5 / 3, structure 2/3, balance 3/3, reverberation 2/3 - total 17/20 points

  12. janCZE scored this whisky 82 points Newbie

    • Nose
      87 87
    • Taste
      84 84
    • Finish
      82 82

  13. InbhirNis scored this whisky 72 points Expert Senior

    When I first opened this, I thought it was half-decent. But every time I returned to it, I enjoyed it less and less. And now I'm just damn glad it's over.

    If I could un-buy only one full-sized bottle over the past decade, I'd chose this one. And I even got it cheap at auction. Have I tasted worse? Yes, but not many.

    I'll quote Gareth74, as I was going to write something equivalent myself: "It’s not great to the point it wanders towards unpleasant but has the good grace to stop before it actually gets there." That stop is right on the brink though, for me.
    • Nose
      72 72
      Immediate peat, but something's not quite right - there's an artificial edge to it, reminiscent of pear drops, and the sweetness is verging on sickly. The overall effect is nearly pleasant, until suddenly it's really not - like the experience of smelling Himalayan balsam, an increasingly prevalent invasive species here in the UK. Some more familiar farminess emerges, but it's constantly fighting for survival. The whole lacks complexity, and the few fleeting flavours that show are undesirable and conflicting, eg sweat and karloff's Imperial Leather soap (which I couldn't have picked out myself, but it's there for sure).
    • Taste
      70 70
      Strikingly sweet and quite smokey, so Ronseal-like. But the sweetness is cloying, with heavy 'wood tech' vanillins swamping the grain flavours - it's actually more like a liqueur than a single malt. The mouthfeel is really thin, despite the high ABV. And it's just too sweet, which is a weird experience as I love sweet whisky. Any redeeming features? There's a vague suggestion of banana...
    • Finish
      75 75
      The highlight of the dram - short, very sweet, but with a nice wisp of smoke on the tail.

  14. cloudyweedram scored this whisky 85 points Expert Senior

    Chinese beef tripe stew served with bread in old ferry pier surrounded by old, oily, dirty hemp rope! Excellent! I really like this whiksy!
    • Nose
      85 85
      Although at only 48.9% ABV, there's an immediate alcohol attack! But never mind, the old ferry pier and oily hemp rope was just exciting! Filled me with memory and comfort! What a start! Beneath the peatiness there's a little tartness, and diluted corn syrup. I could use stronger, longer lasting old ferry pier hemp rope aroma. But soon it evolved into a more flowery and limy setting, and this somehow weakened the character.
    • Taste
      86 86
      Extraordinary, in a very good way! Chinese beef tripe stew in soy bean paste! Sesame , yeasty and bready! A bit thin in the mouth, otherwise it would score even better.

      Second sip, cigarette ash, just enough to excite one and not to be irritating. Well done
    • Finish
      84 84
      Mainly smoke and ash, lingering eat. I would say this baby indeed has balanced sweetness and peatiness as it said. Very good job!

  15. niggy1813 scored this whisky 88 points Expert Junior

    It's a whisky born of science, not tradition. Smoke and Sweetness are definitely the two flavours that stand out directly. But both are balanced in a perfect way so that whisky doesn't have to hide from the bottlings of the "older" distillery. For me, this experiment has succeeded well!
    • Nose
      87 87
      Tarry smoke encloses sweetness and only allows them to surface gently. Youngness and metallic notes are covered cleverly.
    • Taste
      90 90
      The smoke and sweetness form a great balance and dancing a nice tango accompanied by a perfect alcohol level, neither too strong nor too weak.
    • Finish
      88 88
      A second dance is performed at the end by the two leading notes with an extra long encore.

  16. Xaver did not rate this whisky Expert Senior

    Exciting whisky.
    • Nose
      Notes from an online blind tasting ...

      Colour:
      Light gold

      Nose:
      Starts with smoke, maritime and old worn leather. The smoke is rather dry and ashy. Dry, slightly moldy wood. Lime and a hint of beer. Slightly unripe banana, yeast dough and chestnuts. There is a chewy sweetness in the background. Cigar tobacco and a metallic undertone shines through. The alcohol cools the inner walls of the nose very slightly.

      The empty glass smells of sweet honeydew melon and ashy smoke.
    • Taste
      Sparkling start. Then again the leather and pepper. In addition, a nice saltiness. Dry sparkling wine. Now more mineral. Significantly more metallic in taste. Grate and green bananas. The syrupy sweetness accompanies the story '. Unripe, green grapes. With very small sips, a slightly medicinal taste is created. Plus a little unripe kiwi.
    • Finish
      Medium length. Ashy smoke. Bitter fruit sweetness and again the metallic.

  17. jykoo scored this whisky 86 points Expert Junior

    Young but well aged whisky. Complex and well balanced
    • Nose
      87 87
      Medium intensity, Sweet honey, citrus, blood orange, orange peel, wet leaves, juniper berry, pepper, barley. The smoke is not that strong like burning wet leave.
    • Taste
      86 86
      Medium + intensity, round, sweet, oakiness.
    • Finish
      86 86
      Medium + finish, i like the green tea bitterness finish.

  18. Wtrstrnghlt scored this whisky 82 points Expert Senior

    • Nose
      83 83
    • Taste
      82 82
    • Finish
      82 82

  19. Gareth74 scored this whisky 76 points Expert Senior

    If only the whisky was as nice as the bottle.

    Ooof, there’s a headline. But it’s fair. Let me explain. The Aisla Bay bottle is bloody lovely. There’s few bottles out there that match it for it’s simplicity and heft. Best nearest match is the exceptionally classy flacon used by edradour for its cask strength vintage juice. That bottle is a beautifully simple and joyously free from the modern expectation of packaging designed to elicit near paroxysmal online circle jerking from the whisky nerds. A simple glass bottle can be a wonderful thing. Scrub off the needlessly waffly label and the Alisa Bay bottle is a thumper. It’d make a great rolling pin such is its demeanour and proportions. Handy in a tight pastry spot. And the stopper is a bruiser too, packaging wise it’s pretty great.

    But the whisky. The whisky. Hmmm. It just doesn’t quite work. If the bottle is cohesive and considered, the whisky is a mish mash of things. There so many things happening and none of them feel at peace with one another.

    Off the bay the nose it weird. It’s smoky like wood that well burnt and charred to blackened lumps but cold from last nights fire mixed with a coolness and a tar note. There’s a peppery tang, some ginger, a sour note of some sort, some sort of mustard seed or savoury curry leaf, and then there a candy sweetness too. Some match box striker, boiled sweets of indeterminate fruity origins. A little raspberry wine gum. Tate and Lyle golden syrup and a pinch or cardamom. This is all over the shop. It’s nice there’s a lot to take in but it feels like it’s having a frightful time being in its own company. It is not unpleasant, though.

    In the mouth and it’s a boisterous arrival of smoke and sweetness and oakiness and salty peat. A dry, herbal note, burnt sage in the background. Lots of wood and pepper. Ginger and syrup mixed with a good pile of burnt wood and ash. There’s lemon zest in the middle of it all but that gets utterly swamped with wood and ash. It’s not great to the point it wanders towards unpleasant but has the good grace to stop before it actually gets there.

    This is a weird one. It actually tastes like it was designed to taste like this and I don’t mean in a good way. It feels far too concocted, like they gone though a checklist of what can make a good scotch and just chosen the bits they think matter the most.

    This reminds me of the best piano gag in the world where Eric Morcombe played all the right notes, but not necessarily in the right order. Look it up, you’ll get the picture.

    So, I want to be kind but it’s pretty uninspiring stuff. A great idea, no doubt, executed in such a way that makes everything feel unbalanced and wrapped up in a bottle you’ll probably enjoy more, long after the whisky is gone.

  20. noelc scored this whisky 87 points Member Senior

    Great nose, which made me hungry for more. I was expecting something like a Lagavulin.
    The taste could not deliver on those kind of expectations.
    Once I adjusted those I really liked this.
    Smoky, fiesty when starting to drink and lingers for a long time with a citrus touch.
    • Nose
      90 90
      hint of leather, delivers on the sweet smoke.
      I could smell this all day
    • Taste
      85 85
      Continues with the smoke, fiesty
      it's good, but coming from a smell like that I was somewhat disappointed.
    • Finish
      85 85
      Improves again on the flavor. Smoky long finish with citrus

  21. Foudos scored this whisky 83 points Expert Senior

    • Nose
      83 83
    • Taste
      84 84
    • Finish
      81 81

  22. Fight65 scored this whisky 87 points Connoisseur

  23. MM-Speyside scored this whisky 55 points Expert Senior

    • Nose
      45 45
    • Taste
      69 69
    • Finish
      55 55

  24. Andytka3 scored this whisky 84 points Connoisseur

    1503) Ailsa Bay, Release 1.2, Sweet Smoke, Release 2018, Micro Maturation (22PPPM / 19SPPM)
    Not many Single Malt distillery at the West Coast of Lowland, so a reason to excite with this new giant workhorse distillery located side by side with Girvan, at the footprint of closed Ladyburn, that may be able to bring a new breed of taste. Micro, pppm, sppm, all these terms may be the oncoming trend with modern whisky.
    • Nose
      N- Starts with wild honey smokes and slow burning leaf, delicious and complex multi flavours candy, compote of sweet peppercorn, sourish mayo with eucalyptus before exotic herbs studded smoked ham emerged at the tip of piggy tail. Liquorice soaked baked vanilla sponge cake lurking enhanced the sweet element of this release. (87/21)
    • Taste
      P- Instead of Sweet or Smoke, thought I am more drawn to the layer of .... not salty, but light umami-ness that twist up a good dimensional mineral mouth coat with underlying dryness. Charred orange peel, liquorice, vanilla toffee and rawness of virgin oak. (87/21)
    • Finish
      F- Medium, spices, ginger, oak phenol with sweet candy notes. Marinated sweet juicy fresh nutmeg fruits. (86/20)

      B/B- 88/22 Swift delivery of smoke, sweet with touches of coastal umami, shell-on mussels in a spicy tomato herb broth. Feel complete with firm body to goes with it.

      Weighted Rate - 84pt

  25. Whisky-Fancier scored this whisky 92 points Expert Senior

    • Nose
      91 91
    • Taste
      93 93
    • Finish
      93 93

  26. lustaufwhisky scored this whisky 86 points Expert Junior

    Nose:
    Initially a typical Lowland reserved nose, the smoke is subtle, a honey sweetness emerges in the background, followed by a little vanilla, now it becomes flowerier with a herbal spice, the smoke becomes greasy

    Taste:
    A strong, smoky-spicy start! Ginger spiciness and oak notes follow, I also taste sweet caramel syrup, the smoke is present for a long time

    Outlet:
    Long and smoky, drying out at the back
    • Nose
      86 86
    • Taste
      87 87
    • Finish
      85 85

  27. ezioaudit scored this whisky 84 points Connoisseur

  28. ezioaudit scored this whisky 84 points Connoisseur

    • Nose
      86 86
    • Taste
      85 85
    • Finish
      84 84

  29. ezioaudit scored this whisky 84 points Connoisseur

    • Nose
      86 86
    • Taste
      86 86
    • Finish
      86 86

  30. peatbogger scored this whisky 79 points Specialist

    My first Ailsa Bay, thanks to karloff for this sample.
    I don't find the Ballechin as "god aweful" as he does, but I do recognise the similarities here.
    • Nose
      80 80
      Earthy and mineral, some close to farmy notes.
      Maybe even some metalic notes, tin, zinc.
      Sweet cold wood smoke that fades over time.
      "King of Denmark" camphor candy.
    • Taste
      82 82
      Initially a close match to the nose.
      It's sweet, slightly salty.
      Tough leather, brackish.
      To me it is ballancing that fine line between interesting and offending.
    • Finish
      76 76
      Sweet, a bit too sweet.
      Again that sweet cold smoke.
      And the camphor candy returns at the end.

  31. ffmdino did not rate this whisky Connoisseur

    yes, I expected more sweetness but maybe I'm sensitive to smoke after all, so it's not for me
    • Nose
      Smoke, ham, light ash, rice or oatmeal, light leather, minimal oak (so freshly broken branch)
    • Taste
      light and soft on the palate
      Smoke, ham stronger than in the nose, eucalyptus / menthol
    • Finish
      medium long
      minimal smoke, oak, sweetness comes at the very end

  32. Whisky Dungeon scored this whisky 95 points Newbie

    My Dram of the Yesr 2019

  33. karloff scored this whisky 74 points Specialist

    Apparently Ailsa Bay is the most advanced distillery in the world. Blokes walking about in white coats and clipboards pushing whisky boundaries with Oompa
    Loompas singing and dancing whilst stirring the Mash Tuns. Well sometimes it's best to keep it simple.
    • Nose
      70 70
      When I first opened this, the first glass was really metallic and medicinal. Now this is the last glass, has it changed? the answer is not much. It has calmed down a little but not to change anything apart from there is now a soapy smell, in fact it reminds me a lot of Imperial leather. There is nothing remotely smoky about this. It is not an awful nose, just not what you would expect.
    • Taste
      72 72
      The nose just transfers down to the taste from beginning to the end. This reminds me of that god awful Edradour Ballechin but not as bad. This has a little bit more to it. What can I find good about it. It's quite refreshing, as in Victory V cough sweet refreshing. It has some spice to it as well as a bit of citrus.
    • Finish
      80 80
      A medium finish and it's the best thing about it because that smokiness it was lacking on the nose and taste shows it's hand on the very death.

  34. happyNess scored this whisky 81 points Member Senior

    Not a high-flyer, but a well-made exotic (smoky Lowlander) with a good PLV.
    • Nose
      80 80
      Citrus notes, cold wood smoke, honey and a little grassy.
    • Taste
      82 82
      The taste gives the impression of the nose quite exactly. The citrus notes can perhaps be combined with tangerines
      and describe orange zest. The smoke and the light honey sweetness balance each other out.
    • Finish
      80 80
      Medium-long finish without surprises, pleasant.

  35. Pyromann scored this whisky 86 points Expert Senior

    Interesting, sweet-woody, or rather sweet-smoky? (but only slightly). On this whisky I enjoy a wide range of aromas and balance and smoothness in taste. It is a pleasant, beautifully drinkable creamy whisky, which is not very distinctive, but well coordinated.
    • Nose
      Sweetness - a little artificial at first smell, then some vanilla, fruit candies. It gradually develops into earthy, distinctly grass tones. Steamy grass. The whole thing is still tinged with the sweetness. Salinity after a while. Interesting.
    • Taste
      Sweeter, medium heavy, creamy. Pleasant fancy for chocolate and some wine, sherry. This is combined with fine woodiness. After a while, it becomes sharper, tears and turns into very fine smoke - a lot of slightly smoked wood.
    • Finish
      Sweet - woody, pungent.

  36. Krisladdich scored this whisky 84 points Expert Junior

    An interesting experiment. The Ailsa Bay delivers almost exactly what the label promises, not more or less. However, I would have imagined the smoke more because of the "real" PPM in the distillate.
    • Nose
      85 85
      The first thing that strikes me is banana, not fresh banana. Rather a little more artificial than with fruit gum or banana milk. In addition a fine, but at the same time aromatic strongly smoky carpet forms. Custard, mild honey, pickled peach and biscuit dough. For just 48.9% comes here a lot of strength, but at the same time a little too much alcohol, so I can not keep my nose in the glass too long.
    • Taste
      85 85
      Should be a smoke bomb. The smoke here is rather tamed, but as announced in a position to push the sweet. He comes a bit grassy therefore. It's hard to pick out individual components, it's just sweet at first and then it gets very bitter. Sand cake with lemon, but without icing. A touch of bitter lemon. A dry mouth is already formed while the whisky is in the mouth elsewhere. Quasi: where the Ailsa Bay comes long, no more grass is growing. Simple but delicious.
    • Finish
      82 82
      First a bit bitter fruit, then puts a metallic taste on the tongue remains. There is some sweetness added. The finish is warm. Dry on the tongue and in the lower cheek area. Salivation is stimulated after a short time. Unspectacular, altogether quite easy.

  37. Whisky.Hedonist.MY scored this whisky 86 points Expert Senior

    Thanks DarrenHJA

  38. JungleDram scored this whisky 86 points Expert Senior

    • Nose
      87 87
    • Taste
      85 85
    • Finish
      87 87

  39. MGHOW scored this whisky 44 points Member Senior

    When this is fresh it's excellent but after three weeks in the bottle it is flat, hot, drying and bitter.

    The finishing is only skin-deep on this one, drink it quick or forget it.....

    I'm going to pour away what's left because it's unpalatable.

  40. ConvalRen scored this whisky 87 points Connoisseur

    An excellent follow up from the first release, not the second batch of the first release. No idea what happened there.

    I reckon this is at least 6 years old.

    Sweet, smoky and wet. A rather damp like hay roasted over peat and sprinkled with sweet grass shavings.

    Edit: 2/10/2019

    After reading the above review by MGHOW, I can say it's all lies. My bottle has been opened for nearly 2 months now and it's still fresh, even more fragrant now. Fake review at its best.
    • Nose
      89 89
    • Taste
      86 86
      Fruity citrus with earthy-ness character.
    • Finish
      86 86
      Medium to long. Not wet nor dry. Suitable for pairing with seafood and light red meat.

  41. pilgrim77 scored this whisky 89 points Expert Senior

    I wasn’t expecting too much of this, but it’s a fantastic balance of sweet and peat. Plenty of vanilla (but not overbearing). A unique profile and well worth the money. Very pleasing to see the higher bottling strength in particular.

    Update: I’m down to half of the bottle, and am still as impressed with this dram now as I was when I first cracked it open. It really is a staggeringly well-balanced dram, with no rough edges. One of the most consistent drams I’ve ever had, with the sweet peat nose making its way right through the palate to a long, lingering finish.

  42. madux scored this whisky 86 points Member Senior

    • Nose
      88 88
    • Taste
      88 88
    • Finish
      81 81

  43. WhiskyMaddin scored this whisky 79 points Expert Senior

    • Nose
      87 87
      nicely integrated smoke note
    • Taste
      83 83
      miss the sweetness, slightly bitter!
    • Finish
      85 85
      medium long, spicy, not unpleasant

  44. Dris scored this whisky 84 points Connoisseur

    • Nose
      85 85
    • Taste
      84 84
    • Finish
      84 84

  45. ctu scored this whisky 85 points Connoisseur

    Nice young "Sweet Smoke" whisky.
    • Nose
      Peat, smoke, bacon, camphor, earth and yellow fruits.
    • Taste
      Powerful. Peat, camphor, orange peel, honey, vanilla and grilled lemon.
    • Finish
      Long, peaty, spicy.

  46. MrYens scored this whisky 89 points Expert Senior

  47. GIORGOS scored this whisky 87 points Connoisseur

    • Nose
      88 88
    • Taste
      87 87
    • Finish
      87 87

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