NOSE Pears, honey, peat, orchard fruit and some tropical fruit notes are the first to arrive at the scene with some vanilla, citrus and warm grain that reminds me of a box of wheat thins. Hiding underneath are some caramel and grain notes accompanied by a very light charry smoke.
PALATE The peat has arisen to take up more space on the palate. It’s a heavier inkier peat than on the nose and brings some nice notes of caramel, dark fruit, brine, malt, honey and vanilla with it. There are some nice orchard fruit notes bouncing around in the background with some hints of tropical fruits peeking in now and then.
BALANCE, BODY & FEEL Doesn’t quite feel balanced, but I can’t really pin point why. It just seems a tad off for some reason. It has a medium body that fits the flavor and a smooth texture that compliments the body and flavors nicely.
FINISH Buttery caramel, apricots, peat, honey butter and some raw grain all mix and mingle as they slowly fade out.
OVERALL I like it. It’s not quite daily drinker status, but it’s close. There is a nice sweet character that runs through the whisky and blends nicely with the peat and brine to create a pleasant tapestry of aromas and flavors that make it perfectly sippable, but there is also a strange youthful raw quality that under rides the whole whisky that, for my tastes, makes it more at home in a really good cocktail. It makes a killer Rob Roy.
A tasty little concoction, the Isle of Skye 8 is a blend of Talisker, which is the only distillery on the island of Skye, some Speyside malts, some “Island” malts (Islay or Orkney) and of course some grain whisky. After blending the whole mix rests in ex-bourbon barrels for a while to help everything marry harmoniously before bottling, but the amount of time it rests in those barrels doesn’t real affect the age statement. However, since there is an age statement, everything in this blend is at least 8 years old, which includes the grain whisky.
The brain child of Ian Macleod this mixture is supposedly inspired by Ian’s family recipe which dates back to the 1800’s. While I’m not entirely sure what kind of shenanigans people get up to over there, here in America it’s become a very tiresome story. “My great great great grandpa had a distillery before prohibition and this is his recipe I found in his sock drawer” type stories happen all too often here and the end result is just another MGP whiskey. I’m not accusing Mr. Macleod of any impropriety in claiming that this comes from his family’s blend recipe, but given how many distilleries have come and gone since the 1800’s I wonder just how close to the original this is.
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