Overall rating
89.81/100
votes
181
Whiskybase ID
WB89672
Category
Blended Malt
Bottler
Malts of Scotland (MoS)
Bottling serie
Scarabus
Bottled
2016
Stated Age
21 years old
Casktype
Sherry, Port & Wine Casks
Number of bottles
1254
Strength
51.2 % Vol.
Size
50 ml 700 ml
Added on
23 nov 2016 2:22 pm by ted.striker
UncoloredNon-chillfilteredCask Strength

Average value

€ 599.00

75 × in wishlist

181 × member ratings

274 × in collection

Whisky reviews for The Dark Side of Islay 21-year-old MoS

38 users have left 41 reviews for this whisky. Average rating is 89.81 points.

  1. Calmar scored this whisky 91 points Connoisseur

    Excellent strict and noble Islay with a clear wine influence, very whole, balanced, very diverse and deep.
    • Nose
      Open, dry, fine wood, a box for cigars, sweet wine notes, raisins, soft peat, delicate smoky tones, sweet confectionery shades - cakes with pieces of fruit, butter cream;
    • Taste
      Soft, rich, peat, coal, charred branches, ash, light metallic acidity, wine notes, raisins, white grapes, fruit jam, nuts, chocolate.
    • Finish
      Soft, warming, peat, spicy oak, raisins, sweet wine, fruit cocktail, creamy notes, cocoa.

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  3. I_am_not_HS305 scored this whisky 92 points Expert Senior

    Compared to the 2022 Cragabus (WB221383), this is much more voluminous and highly complex. Wood and smoke, everlasting. Like someone wrote here earlier, how much better could a whisky be? Yes, if you are looking for all in with age, this could it be.

    The Cragabus, exact alcohol level, but 6 years later on the market, this is more barrel loaded, much frutier, but in direct comparison, the Scarabus wins clearly.

  4. Hagerboe scored this whisky 92 points Member Senior

    • Nose
      92 92
    • Taste
      92 92
    • Finish
      93 93

  5. Roland7 scored this whisky 92 points Expert Junior

    Chocolate with mint and red pepper! Smoke, coal, ash, rubber, fuel oil, gasoline, paint, electrical wiring, medicine, smoked bacon, truffle, charred wood, roasted peanuts, mineral, black currant, old rotten strawberries. Long lasting and very balanced!

  6. Merl scored this whisky 99 points Connoisseur

    I can't imagine the existence of a better whisky than this (if you may like Islay whisky) and should rate 100. However, keeping some room for further surprises, I rate a clear 99.

  7. whiskydramo scored this whisky 90 points Connoisseur

    • Nose
      90 90
      Moss, wet wood, sour plum, hawthorn. Wet earth, roasted Macadamia. Creamy, butter, pineapple cake.
      Mandarin orange flesh, some cinnamon, followed by pomegranate and more citrus zest. Oak, coffee candy and some fresh black pepper. Leave it in the glass for 5min, smoke from wet burnt wood, old leather and mineral.
    • Taste
      89 89
      Toffee, pineapple juice, chocolate, a bit earthy. Peated orange, beetroot, mild pepper spiciness, nutmeg, spinach, mineral, tobacco. Smoked nuts.
    • Finish
      90 90
      Zest bomb to start. Cinnamon, quite peated, broiled meat, charcoal, some tannin, ends with dark fruit and some grass.

  8. IronChic scored this whisky 91 points Connoisseur

    • Nose
      92 92
    • Taste
      91 91
    • Finish
      91 91

  9. Jonnek91 scored this whisky 90 points Member Junior

  10. LiquidThoughts scored this whisky 89 points Connoisseur

    On that day we had several older (distilled) bottlings from Islay with us, because you notice the modern leg notes more clearly, and it is too chaotic for me, especially for the art of blended malts, very, very tasty, but I miss the polished statement .
    • Nose
      At first, especially after the Vintage Ardbeg, a contrast program. Very modern aka artificial sweetness, light soapy of the wine barrels, etc. After a while in the air, however, the unpleasant leg notes decrease and go over to glazed Parma ham and lightly burnt bacon, wild berries from the bush, incense sticks, rosemary, walnut, oregano, red apple , extinguished campfire, light raisins, chestnut, walnut, some cherry
    • Taste
      Hui, live in front of a torch-burning forest hut, tree resin, pine nuts, capers, algae, iodine, black pepper, camphor, saffron in between, blackberries, later the ham reveals itself again with forest honey over it, some pencil lead, olives, wild cherries, especially with further sips , messy, zucchini
    • Finish
      Coffee beans, lacquered oak, olives, capers, burnt bacon, dried raisins, long

  11. Indianerhäuptling scored this whisky 88 points Connoisseur

    • Nose
      89 89
    • Taste
      88 88
    • Finish
      88 88

  12. Tommyknocker scored this whisky 91 points Expert Senior

    I just guess: Caol Ila Sherry Barrel, Bowmore Port Barrel and Bunnahabhain Wine Barrel. Great blended malt!

  13. butt scored this whisky 93 points Expert Senior

    • Nose
      91 91
    • Taste
      93 93
    • Finish
      94 94

  14. Gloin scored this whisky 92 points Expert Senior

    The smell is very intense, with many notes, wonderfully balanced and with a lot of tension.
    The taste and the finish are perfect for the impression in the nose. All notes are wonderful on each other. An almost perfect symbiosis of smoke and sherry.
    A fantastic whiskey!
    • Nose
      Smoke, sweet as a pipe, cherry, pine needles, some orange, cinnamon, tangerine, the cherries and the smoke remain the dominant note, but are nicely complemented by the other flavors, wet humus
    • Taste
      Strong onset, the whiskey is hot on the tongue, sweetish smoke fills the mouth, sweet blackberry, mild orange juice, chocolate with orange peel, bread dough, a slight herbal note with a gentle bitterness
    • Finish
      The whiskey slips warmly down the throat, the smoke is weaker but remains present, dark fruits, blackberry and cherry, delicate oak, gentle bitterness sticks to the palate mixed with some chocolate, long

  15. schengel10 scored this whisky 92 points Connoisseur

    A ripe top whiskey!

    [Color] amber;
    • Nose
      Strong aromatic smoke, ripe prunes, berries, sherry, spice;
    • Taste
      powerful onset, tingling, dry campfire smoke, plums, oranges, port (?), cocoa, very complex;
    • Finish
      long spicy finish, honey sweetness, plums;

  16. markjedi1 scored this whisky 91 points Connoisseur

    Scarabus
    The name of this series from Malts of Scotland, as the labels, is simply fantastic. For now, the Dark Side of Islay consists of three bottlings, each of them a blended malt. The first, released in 2016, was named Scarabus. The one from 2017 is called Octovulin, while the most recent from 2018 was christened Mulindry. I will try the first one, of which all ingredients are 21 years old at least. Did you know that documents were found which suggest there was a Scarabus distillery on Islay between 1817 and 1818? Probably close to the Scarabus Farm near Bridgend. But never operational, it seems. Anyway, luckily we have this blended malt from MoS.

    OMG! What a nose! Grand combination of sherry and peat with all that goes with it. Take a seat. Smoked ham around a fresh date, salted origin chocolate, sweet peach, roasted nuts, earthen floor, ashes and soot, plum jam, sweet smoke and so on. You’ll have gathered that this is a grand and very intense nose.

    Good body. Oily and surprisingly soft for such an ABV. Great continuation of the nose with a feistiness from cloves, liquorice and cinnamon. Again bacon around dark fruit in a blanket of smoke. Nuts, cocoa and crème d’orange kick in. Boy, oh boy, this is so good!

    The finish is smoky on liquorice and orange peel. It makes me feel all warm and fuzzy, which lasts forever.

    Impressive winter dram from the top shelf which proves again – insofar as that was still in debate – that a blend(ed malt) is not inferior to a single malt by definition. Thanks to the Whisky Amigos for the generous sample.

  17. Gerhans scored this whisky 93 points Expert Senior

    Truly, truly magnificent. I can't begin to express how good this dram is. The age shines through, the different casks shine through, the overall blend of flavours is simply astounding. One of my favourites.
    • Nose
      A salty, meaty smokiness. I read roast beef in a comment below and yes, it has that beeflike quality on the nose which is VERY appealing. Plums, cherries, ripe bbq banana (if that makes any sense).
    • Taste
      A drying chili chocolate sensation. My goodness what a taste! Nuts, honey, caramel, ripe banana again. The wine casks really shine through on this one as well; with the dryness and red fruits. My goodness this is amazing.
    • Finish
      Ripe fruit, a wine-like dryness, oranges, vanilla, a zesty saltiness and some sweet chocolate peppers. Wafts of coastal sweet peat linger on and on. 

  18. stefsel111 scored this whisky 90 points Connoisseur

    • Nose
      91 91
    • Taste
      89 89
    • Finish
      89 89

  19. PatSch23_12 scored this whisky 91 points Expert Senior

    A real revelation. Anyone who could taste here or own a bottle is to be congratulated. 21 years Islay, excellent barrels and that for a price of 160, - € - who likes Islay and has not struck here, is your own fault.
    • Nose
      Immediately powerful Islay smoke, dry campfire or its ashes. Iodine, sea air, with a dense sweetness of cooked fruit, plum and spices that tickle your nose downright peppery-hot. The nose is overwhelming. Powerful, smoky, sweet, spicy, at the same time extremely balanced, you can tell the age - impressive.
    • Taste
      blazing log fire on the tongue, heated, without seeming impetuous. Clear salts, paired with an extremely creamy mouthfeel. Vanilla cream with fruits buried in rum, dark cocoa powder, sweet pipe tobacco and oak, but in the 21 years it has not prevailed over the sweet-wine notes and the smoke
    • Finish
      a felt eternity remains in the throat with aromatic wood smoke, warming and spicy

  20. ctu scored this whisky 90 points Connoisseur

    Another good example is that there are good blends. Amazing balance, the wine barrels bring a wonderful deep spiciness. 89/90.
    • Nose
      Interesting but complex nose. Red apple, strawberry and orange peel. Salted beef, bacon, ash and mustard. Vanilla, phosphorous sherry and spicy oak.
    • Taste
      Especially spicy. Bergamot oil, chili and ginger. Honeyed fruits and cocoa. Salted caramel and smoked meats.
    • Finish
      Long, spicy, fruity, smoky.

  21. Dre73 scored this whisky 90 points Connoisseur

    • Nose
      90 90
    • Taste
      89 89
    • Finish
      90 90

  22. Dre73 scored this whisky 90 points Connoisseur

    Very nice and balanced whiskey, really enjoy!
    • Nose
      Salty, strong alcohol in the nose, peat, campfire smoke. Also leather, coffee, tobacco. Plums, and chocolate too.
    • Taste
      Full, smoky. Also soft, salmiak, liquorice. Tobacco again. Plums, chocolate, but then again smoke and peat.
    • Finish
      Full, soft, long. Chocolate, smoke, peat, leather, coffee.

  23. Doctor B. scored this whisky 89 points Expert Senior

    • Nose
      89 89
    • Taste
      89 89
    • Finish
      89 89

  24. St. Pauli did not rate this whisky Connoisseur

    This is fabulous stuff, a well balanced whisky. It's very well integrated, all senses complement each other. The time will certainly have helped to create a syrupy, velvety and creamy malt that goes very well with the peated character.
    • Nose
      The legs are thick and slow, and the whisky sticks almost to the glass. So we can expect a rich and round dram. 
      The nose rather delicate for a heavily peated Islay whisky. The peaty side is most dominant, with smoked mackrel, anchovies, smoked bacon and lapsang souchong tea. It's no surprise that there is a lot of fruit to be grasped too. It holds the middle of dried fruits (prune) and red fruit (strawberry, plum, cherry). Next to milk chocolate, there is a gentle spiciness of cinnamon.
    • Taste
      Full-bodied. The taste starts not quite as smooth as I expected, but it isn't that harsh either. Water helps, and makes way for a syrupy sensation. Remarkably, the red fruit is more prominent than on the nose, as is the cinnamon. Later on, raisins join the party. Then, there is smoke from a fish smoker, and coal smoke. Through creamy chocolate, the path continues to a spicy finale of the palate.
    • Finish
      The finish is medium to long, with a rather long linger once you've swallowed the whisky. Here, the sherry maturation becomes more prominent, with even some orange juice. Further, there is date, fish smoke, cinnamon and soft pepper.

  25. mr.p9 scored this whisky 90 points Expert Senior

    • Nose
      91 91
    • Taste
      90 90
    • Finish
      91 91

  26. EJS scored this whisky 91 points Expert Senior

  27. Nikilema scored this whisky 91 points Expert Senior

    • Nose
      92 92
    • Taste
      92 92
    • Finish
      92 92

  28. lincolnimp scored this whisky 89 points Connoisseur

    • Nose
      89 89
    • Taste
      92 92
    • Finish
      88 88

  29. lincolnimp scored this whisky 89 points Connoisseur

    Nice stuff, worth looking out for at auctions.
    • Nose
      My initial thought is one of  forest greenery , just like walking through a wood in the early morning. Then some Turkish Delight emerges but is quickly overtaken by peat and fruit, like burned peaches (if that is possible)?

      Finally some wafer and cinder toffee.
    • Taste
      very creamy and mouth filling and then the peat arrives and it got some fizz but not overpowering with a tangy twist at the back
    • Finish
      Good medium length

  30. fgg scored this whisky 89 points Expert Senior

    • Nose
      88 88
    • Taste
      88 88
    • Finish
      86 86

  31. fgg scored this whisky 89 points Expert Senior

    Very fine blend of what islay has to offer.
    • Nose
      Smoke and peat. Muffig and a bit of acid. In the background some dried fruits, raisins.
    • Taste
      Very soft and smoky. Creamy on the tongue. Wood tones come up.
    • Finish
      Nice long finish. The earthy tones remain long.

  32. Hobbit did not rate this whisky Expert Senior

    I like it very much. A beautiful peat hammer, as I wished him today. For old age, smoke is probably too present: 10 years, 46%, sherry finish
    I've been wondering what kind of smoke it's been for a eternity. I am also sure to know him. I would exclude Laphi, Bowmore, Ledaig, Longrow and Coal Ila. What else is left?
    • Nose
      ---- ---- blind tasting

      Gorgeous! This is a nose to my taste. Heavy smoke right at the beginning, but it shows immediately that he does not come alone, directly fruity berries and fresh jam, sweet peach alternating with salty bacon, sea flavors, salty chocolate, Vollmichschokolade, hazelnuts, vanilla cream, dry logs at the campfire catch Slowly to burn, at the same time the smoke is creamy, sweet, caramel, candied fruit, slowly triumphing back the smoke and makes room for more vanilla and strawberries
    • Taste
      soft start before really strong smoke begins, plus pepper and salt, creamy texture, campfire, damp tobacco leaves, almonds, dark chocolate, subtle berries in the background, really plenty of smoke and creamy at the same time, orange slices dry by the fireplace
    • Finish
      starts with smoke, drier this time, oak, salt, bacon, barbecue, long-lasting, chocolate, and finally a sweet caramel sherry note

  33. whiskyinstitut scored this whisky 91 points Connoisseur

    Very cool composition
    • Nose
      Baconous, smoky, maritime, Ardbeg smoke at the beginning, salty, then more and more Bowmore nose, cocoa
    • Taste
      Sweet, red grapes, salty, creamy, smoke, well-bound oak, strawberry juice, some licorice
    • Finish
      Everything wonderfully connected, sticks sweet and spicy

  34. Hvdree scored this whisky 88 points Connoisseur

    • Nose
      89 89
    • Taste
      88 88
    • Finish
      88 88

  35. HammerHead scored this whisky 92 points Connoisseur

    • Nose
      91 91
      Heavy smoke, with multiple layers of a dark fruit jam woven into it, also nutty, salty bacon, mustard and black pepper. A heavy sherry/port wine/grappa like nose counterbalanced by heavy fat smoke. Perfect harmony. This is actually what I would have liked the Lagavulin DE's of the last few years to smell, but alas.
    • Taste
      91 91
      Agian the smoke, a burning forest of it with salty bacon. Very greasy and oily mouthfeel, nuts, cocoa, black liquorice, cinnamon sugar and black pepper.
    • Finish
      93 93
      Very long, smoke but less heavy than in the nose and taste, scorched and toasted wood, black liquorice, a fantastic warming feeling.

  36. chrizthewiz scored this whisky 88 points Expert Junior

    Okay, this is different. The nose offers various spices, piment, mustard seeds and thyme. After a while, red apples and a weird but not unpleasent mustyness appear. I was hoping for more sherry tones but this is just ... different. It also reminds me strongly of a scottish cask matured gin I tasted a while ago (Alambic's?).
    On the palate the gin-kinda spiciness continues. The peat is obvious, but is has transformed into a very complex and meaty element that supports the spices from the winecasks. Delicious stuff, but I wouldnt rush to buy a full bottle. If you're bored by your average sherried Islay though (which I am not), you should definetly give this one a go.

  37. Oranje81 did not rate this whisky Member Junior

    A fabled and fabled blended Islay Malt conjuring the dark side of Islay Island. Through its interplay of spicy smoke and fruity sweet Barbecuenoten he offers an independent and complex whiskey enjoyment. A detailed presentation is available on my blog: http://whiskyclub-fs.de/2016/12/12/whisky-vorstellung-scarabus-the-dark-side-of-islay-blended-islay-malt-malts-of -scotland-512 vol /

  38. rpvdwel scored this whisky 90 points Connoisseur

    • Nose
      90 90
    • Taste
      91 91
    • Finish
      90 90

  39. Amaliana scored this whisky 91 points Expert Senior

    91/100 points to buy? Already done! The website of The Whiskycask is a blend of three different distilleries on Islay. All three have different smoke characters and therefore give a completely new taste experience. For the creation of various sherry, port wine and wine barrels were married.
    • Nose
      In the nose, I have the typical Islay character: smoke, iodine, salt, and plum pickles with a touch of cinnamon
    • Taste
      The first sip literally pokes me in the face: I close my eyes and sit in a pub in Scotland in front of a smoldering peat fire. The oily smell of the workers drinking beer at the counter mixes with the taste of my creamy vanilla ice cream, with a portion of rum and plum and cinnamon. In addition I drink cocoa, which used to be cooked by my grandmother with "real" cocoa powder. In the background an old man smokes a pipe. The pub's door also opens and brings in a barrage of salty fishy sea air.
    • Finish
      The finish I find long, sweet, spicy and warm.

  40. Falnor scored this whisky 88 points Connoisseur

    I would love to know what exactly went into this blend. It's got the oranges and seabreese of bowmore, the bbq of Ardbeg and nuts of bunna. It's great and doesn't feel like a blend.
    • Nose
      Roast beef,
      bacon, salted and marinated. Quite the BBQ on the coast with seabreeze and smoke from the campingfire. Different kinds of fruit. From the light
      strawberry, fresh oranges to plums and cherries. Also cinnamon with baked apple.
    • Taste
      Chocolate
      with chilli peppers in it! Sweet and hot sensation. Chestnuts and walnuts with
      honey and salted caramel. the smoke and salt was lively on the nose. Here it's more
      intergrated with again bacon and ham.
    • Finish
      Warm apple
      pie with cinnamon, almonds covered in chocolate sauce and a slight drying
      feeling of flambed oranges and old ripe fruit.

  41. Kantenmechaniker scored this whisky 92 points Connoisseur

    If there is no Laphroaig, I eat a broom ;-) Incredibly intense. Everything is included, which makes a very good whiskey for me.
    • Nose
      My first impression clearly says Laphroaig, lighter overall than expected, greasy smoke, maritime, slightly salty, from the intensity of the smoke I could imagine that here not only smoky malt has flowed, roasted nuts, a potpourri of fruits, raspberry, but also darker associations towards plum, a little vanilla, very light mint in the background, and also a bit musty, Bunnahabhain could also be there, very interesting, after the first sip you can now feel the cinnamon in the nose, caramel, cold cocoa
    • Taste
      very creamy, oily, caramel, raisins, sweet, pleasant greasy smoke, the taste explodes after a few seconds formal, tingling, cinnamon, it is definitely Laphroaig here, even more cinnamon, almost like syrup on the tongue, pleasantly intense
    • Finish
      the cinnamon manifests itself to the main component and is carried by the smoke, still sweet and creamy, briefly light and slightly acidic red fruit flashing, nutty, milk chocolate and plum mustard,

  42. cadillac scored this whisky 88 points Expert Senior

    A very successful Vatting.
    Restrained in the glass, takes time to develop.
    After a while, I get a hint of Ardbeg and Bowmore, not unlike the ARD-MORE, but not so clearly.

    Very pleasant on the palate with a rich classic Islay note.
    I can not say if Sherry, Port or Redwine dominates, but I can imagine that Port and Redwine have only played in the finish, because in my opinion they are not too dominant.
    Great mouth feeling!

    Nice finish that could be longer.

    Completely successful and exceptional.

    Due to the departure for me here 88/100 Pts

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