I have spoken already about the small company The Islay Boys and reviewed their initially entry level blended product FlatNose. Now I also have the blended malt version which is available from their website and larger whisky websites.
The difference, of course, between this version and the previous version we looked at is the lack of grain whisky in this black version. This version is completely made from malted barley from at least two different distilleries. In reality there is likely to be more than two each adding to the flavour profile or bulking out the batch until a viable profitable product is produced.
This time the alcohol content has been beefed up to 46% from the previous versions 43%. The other rules still apply though so no artificial colouring or filtering has been done and the bottle shape is the same. On the cardboard packaging is the same story about the friends from Islay setting up a business after leaving the island and travelling the world.
The tasting notes on the bottle suggest this will be lightly peated, honeyed and citric. Lets see if we agree with that then?
Colour – golden
Nose – Very citric initially and pretty sharp. Preserved lemons and sugared grapefruit with cloves adding a touch of spice. Overall though its more brined than fruity although with water pear drops come out.
Palate – The texture isn’t all that great really. With unfiltered whisky you would hope for more on the mouth feel. There is peat now though which is ashen and dry but indeed very light just like the tin said. With water it becomes sugared and yeasty doughy from the young spirit.
Finish – The finish like the blend version is still pretty short. The wood charring notes linger. With water though there is this slightly chemical brine note which I always seem to notice in young Bowmore?
That comment about Bowmore can’t be right. I can’t imagine getting young casks of Bowmore is easy and certainly not affordable enough to put into these blends? Surely?
Regardless, this is a decent if uninteresting bottle of whisky. It is a tenner or so more expensive than the blended version which contains grain whisky as well as malt. The price difference of course makes sense and its easy to see a blend as inferior but for its interesting peppery and fruity personality I find I gt for that one and leave this 100% malt whisky version on the shelf.