The independent market for Scotch Single Malt whisky seems pretty congested but there is always people willing to buy Islay whisky at any price point. The Big Strand is a single malt Islay brand from Morrison & MacKay who also bring us the Carn Mor and Old Perth brands and operates mostly at the value end of the spectrum.
The Big Strand name comes from the beach area near the airport on the Isle of Islay. A place which I have visited many times and have a number of good memories about. The actual whisky itself is Caol Ila as I understand it and is around 9 years old from ex-bourbon barrels. These barrels are probably very well used and the colour on the whisky will show that. These bottles are at 46% ABV and non-chill filtered which is good news indeed. I haven’t seen many bottles around so I suspect its batched but expect to pay around £30.
Colour – very close to transparent
Nose – brine seaweed and just generally coastal spirit led
Palate – a chilli heat from the spirit with loads of more coastal notes. There is that peaty vegetation note from Islay peat.
Finish – a short finish with some chilli heat over smoldering wood
A simple and caol ila spirit led whisky for those who like Islay malts. This is the kind of thing you buy if you want a pure Islay experience.