Tasting Notes by Jim McEwan, head distiller;
Character: This strong, handsome, well-endowed warrior leaps from the glass smouldering with the passion and fire that reflects the characteristics of Islay. The warm smoky sweetness, the power of Atlantic swells, the passion of the Celts and the unbowed pride of the Scots all there in your hand. How blessed are you?
Colour: Cadmium yellow/ jasmine
Nose: Blazing peat fires send sparks of joy onto the unsuspecting olfactory system captivating and ravishing the senses which have never had such natural pleasure. Now they are aroused, thrilled, stimulated and in awe of the strength and youth of the spirit. The barley is shimmering, the oak mellowing, the fruits bursting, the Atlantic squalls detonating. The peat smoke smouldering, the sea mists swirling, the heathland hedonistic; welcome to the aromatic world of the hand made, heavy peated, slow distilled, maritime matured single malt.
Palate: The texture of the spirit is endless, super smooth. On entry it is absolutely sensational; it’s like “Wow”! Don’t worry you’re going to be ok, I promise – the initial palate presence is one of juniper oil, peat smoked barley, salted biscuits, light iodine, crushed cinnamon, then on the second phase the citrus flavours of grapefruit, tangerine, honeyed lemon together with the sweetness of pear & pineapple add a whole new dimension to the complexity of the spirit. The fruits balance the marine notes; the oaky nutty ginger flavours combat the peat and the citrus helps cool the heat of the fire. Perfect balance.
Finish: The heat from the peat embers will warm the soul into the wee small hours and as you awaken next morning your senses will ask: “Did that really happen?”, hoping with all your heart that it will happen again.
Mood: Close your eyes as you inhale, you will be spiritually transported to the island of great distillers, with a terroir unique and natural where the never-ending call of the sea is the anthem of the Ileach.