It’s about time to give Bunnahabhain a break and consider something else from the same island. With 9 (Ardnahoe being the newist) working distilleries on the island their is always a lot of official releases to choose from. While this wasn’t always the case the single malt market makes up the bulk of sales from Islay now rather than blends. However, isn’t the only source of interesting whisky.

Master of Malt is one of the largest online retailers of wine and spirits but they also have a range of brands which they have developed to bottle their own whisky which as been bought from distilleries or private owners. This rather long winded 10 year old whisky is one such example which I bought entirely for two reasons.

  1. The price which is supermarket pricing at just over £30
  2. The Cards of Humanity style branding

I guess two is really just the general packaging and branding because I also strongly resonate with the call to action on the back of the bottle.

We believe in balance.

We believe the contents of this bottle are complex and carefully crafted.

We believe that the outside needn’t be any of those things.

Believe responsibly

Which is an arty way of saying no style over substance and well I have no style so we work well together!

The Dram

From a single unnamed distillery and bottled at 40% ABV the whisky is aged for at least 10 years. A quarter of which has been finished in first fill sherry octaves. An octaves is a very small cask which allows for fast maturation because of the increased ratio of wood to liquid. Where a normal ex-bourbon barrel will hold around 160 litres an octave will take just 50 litres.

As I write this there is only 1 bottle left but this has happened before and more have come back up for sale, I hope this is the case again but if not there will be for sure another bottle to replace it soon enough.

Tasting Notes

Colour – marmalade

Nose – sweet, fruity and tinned fruit syrup alongside a salty wood smoke

Palate – The smoke has gone stale and dry on the palate. The texture is clean and we have the notes off the tin so seaweed and (bon)fire. Tart apples give some balance

Finish – Not a long finish but the peat smoke sticks and lingers long after the glass is empty

Final Thoughts

Good and interesting cheap whisky with an age statement. The sherry influence is subtle and the peat is pretty subtle as well. This isn’t for someone looking for an extreame hit but then there is more layers to it as well. The reviews on the Master of Malt website include one talking about the ever evolving nature of the whisky and the changes over time. I agree with this and for that reason I keep going back to the bottle and looking forward to something new. I take ages to finish a bottle and sometimes you can get quite bored by the end of it so I am definitely enjoying myself with this.

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