For my second review I have chosen to review a bottle I picked up during a recent tour of my local whisky shops, “As We Get It” from Ian Macleod distillers.
Ian Macleod prides itself on being an independent family firm which believes strongly in the values of quality and independence. They operate an expansive portfolio of branded spirits from Glengoyne whisky to the recently procured Edinburgh Gin. Their business reaches into all areas and markets of the spirit industry providing bulk orders of whisky for private labelling and own brand offerings while also boasting of a great private collections of premium bottlings which they release under their Chieftains range. As a result they stand as the worlds 10th largest scotch whisky company.
“As We Get It”
This single malt range certainly reflects the values of quality Ian Macleod wishes to portray. Cask strength and un-chill filtered it attempts to provide the whisky as it was when first taken from the barrel. The range comes in two themes of either an un-named islay or highland single malt. They report that bottlings are only made when barrels of whisky meeting their exacting standards become available. As a result the colour and strength of their bottles may vary between bottlings.
There appears to have been a recent release as I have come across this now available in my local whisky shops. The current Islay bottling comes in a mighty 61.2% with an rrp between £45 and £50. It is now on offer online for a very respectable £45.
Colour – A pale, almost translucent, white wine
Nose – A strong malty peat with an underlying sweet note
Palate – unwatered – an initial sharp sour peat but not as fiery as you may expect given the strength, a thin mouth feel
Palate – watered – only a small volume of water completely quenches the fire however if anything the peat becomes stronger and more multi-dimensional , a sharp ashen peat with a trace of sweet citrus
Finish – unwatered – the initial peated front resolves into a malted, biscuity finish
Finish – watered – the ash leaks through to the finish colouring the previous biscuit finish with a slight wooden aftertaste
Overall this is an interesting authentic dram at a very attractive price. Perhaps not the most complex of whiskies however still a quality offering. One to reach for when in the mood for a classic peated islay but maybe not to sit and ponder over.
But what is it?
With un-named independent bottlings the game always arises to guessing the original distiller. Online previous bottlings have been suggested as laphroaig, lagavulin or Ardbeg. The lack of cured meated tones make me discount both Lagavulin and Ardbeg. The ashen peat could be consistent with a laphroaig however the lack of TCP/medicinal notes and the additional sweet notes make me consider Coal Ila as the most likely source.