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McClelland's Islay

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McClelland's Islay

Postby talisker10 » Mon Jan 26, 2009 12:31 am

I was buying some beverages for Super Bowl weekend (gotta have Shiner Bock!) and went ahead and bought another McClelland's. This time, the Islay since I like Bowmore 12 (I think I left that off my top ten list..but it would go in there for sure). There is no doubt that this a young Bowmore. Not wonderfuly, but good, especially at $20 a bottle.

Color: Amber
Nose: Iodine, smoke, a little brine
Mouth: A little watery but a lot of smoke, some peat, and a background of like a dark chocolate. Really more smoke than peat.
Finish: Pretty short, but a little spicy kick at the end.

BTW, it is very smooth, not rough at all. I would highly recommend this for the price.
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Re: McClelland's Islay

Postby triguy42 » Mon Jan 26, 2009 3:03 am

Any hints of the cough drops flavor that has infested so many recent Bowmores? I bought one bottle of Legend a few months ago and I swear it was chock full of gristy smoke...more like a young Lagavulin than Bowmore. That bottle disappeared pretty fast and the replacement was like chewing on coughdrops...nasty!
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Re: McClelland's Islay

Postby talisker10 » Mon Jan 26, 2009 3:26 am

My only Lagavulin 16 is a double I had at a bar while on vacation last summer. I will say the McClelland's had an intense smokiness that reminded me of the Lagavulin. It was a little smokier than the bottle of Bowmore 12 (new edition) I had last year. However, I did not detect any cough drop sense. By smokiness, to my taste it is a coal, charcoal, smoked meat as opposed to the peat. To me, Laphroaig tastes more peaty (the sweet, iodine flavor) than Ardbeg or Lagavulin or Bowmore which tend to have this heavy smoke at least to my newbie taste buds.
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Re: McClelland's Islay

Postby The Third Dram » Mon Jan 26, 2009 5:56 am

talisker10 wrote:...it is very smooth, not rough at all...

I agree that there's no evidence of roughness despite the relative youthfulness of the spirit, and believe this likely has a lot to do with the manner in which the barrels (ex-Bourbon to my taste) have been re-charred. Pretty good hit of Islay flavour, all told.
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Re: McClelland's Islay

Postby talisker10 » Mon Jan 26, 2009 6:31 pm

Since we are having to a bit of belt tightening like a lot of people I was happy to see I can get an Islay whisky that is very drinkable for so cheap.
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Re: McClelland's Islay

Postby lpkchri1 » Wed Jan 28, 2009 2:35 am

My thoughts exactly, it is my favorite budget Scotch.
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Re: McClelland's Islay

Postby Megawatt » Sat Jan 31, 2009 2:21 am

I bought this Scotch maybe a year ago; didn't mind it at first but halfway through the bottle I was sick of it.

I picked it up again tonight, having developed much more of a taste for Islay malts in the meantime. And I'm glad I did! An enjoyable malt indeed.

The nose is smoky with light citrus notes. On the palate there is wood smoke and lemon, followed by hot pepper and then finally some peat. Not nearly as salty as I recall. Short finish for an Islay malt, though the smoke lingers a bit.

This makes me wish I picked up Bowmore 12 while it was $6 off. I skipped it because I wasn't sure if it would be to my taste...
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Re: McClelland's Islay

Postby Charlie » Sun Feb 01, 2009 11:40 am

I bought a bottle of this a couple of years ago from Somerfield, and it was a 10 year old, bottled for them, and costing around £12. One of the best bargains I ever got.

It was tucked away at the back of my cupboard, and I have just rediscovered it after seeing this thread.

I've never seen any since, which is a great shame.
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Re: McClelland's Islay

Postby LeoDLion » Mon Feb 02, 2009 4:13 pm

I have a 5-liter oak barrel filled with McCleland Islay maturing quite nicely. Its one of the best among the 'cheaper' single malts.
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Re: McClelland's Islay

Postby triguy42 » Thu Feb 26, 2009 6:27 am

Well, based on the above notes I had to pick one up at Total Wine & Spirits last weekend. I think the bottlings are variable, as this one tasted pretty much exactly like the Bowmore Legend:

Nose: 20 very malty, touch sherry, very coughdrop
Taste: 20 smooth and pleasant, building malty spice and smoky coughdrops
Finish: 19 lingering battle between smoky peat and coughdrops...the coughdrops win!
Balance: 20 typical of current Bowmores, overblown coughdrop sweetness killing off any traditional Islay flavours

Interestingly enough I had one bottle of Bowmore Legend that was incredibly smoky and truly amazing. I gave some to a few of my Islay-fanatic friends and they would swear it is a youngish Lagavulin. Of course the next bottle was back to the standard coughdrop fare that annoys me so much... :(
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Re: McClelland's Islay

Postby talisker10 » Fri Feb 27, 2009 9:48 pm

I do know from what I have read that all Bowmore from the mid-90's till about 2006 has the "coughdrop" effect. It seems 2007 and 2008 did not have that. Maybe there is some mixing of vintages.
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