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Issue 41 - Let'stakeawalkonthefragrantside

Whisky Magazine Issue 41
July 2004

 

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Let'stakeawalkonthefragrantside

ThesmellsofIslayreflectonsomeofitswonderfulwhiskies.MartineNouettakesyouonasensoryjourneyacrosstheislandandintroducesitsfloraandfauna

Westeringhomeandasongintheair”,saysthesongaboutIslay.Itcouldaswellbe:“Westeringhomeandwhiskyintheair”.

Notonlybecausethe‘islandofwhisky'shelterssevendistilleries(andmaybeeightinthenearfuture).Butalsobecauseallthefragrancescarriedbysummerbreezeorwintergalesarethesamedescriptorsusedintastingnotesbysomanywhiskywritersoraficionados.

Theinvitationcouldbe:‘breatheinIslayandyou'llnoseit'swhiskies'.Or:‘letthesinglemaltyouarenosingtakeyouforanIslaywalk'.

Ifyouallowmetoleadyoubythenose,I'llsharewithyoumybestnosingspotsontheisland.ThenimaginewetasteIslaymaltsonourwayback,tryingtopickupthearomaswenosedallthewaythrough.

That'sthewayIbestenjoysensoryevaluation.Justfollowmeandletournosesserveasourcompass...

TravellingtoIslaybyairmaybequickerbutreachingthecoastbyboathasamagicaltouch,especiallyifyoulandatPortEllenbytheeveningferryonawarmsummerday.

PeatsmokeisthefirstsmellthevisitorexperiencesasCalMacFerries'captainmanoeuvrestoberththeship.

YoucanseethegreyoutlinesofPortEllenMaltingspuffingoutwhitesmoke.Peatisburningforhoursinthehugekilnsoftheplant,whenArdbeg,LaphroaigorLagavulin'ssupplyisbeingmalted.

Quiteanunusualolfactoryshockforfirsttimersastheyexperienceascentofpungentsmokewithsomeearthynotesofwetroot.Thisisasignificantmarkerofthesouthcoastsinglemaltsmentionedabove,andtoalesserextentofthe‘middleones',CaolIlaandBowmore.

Thefullrangeofaromasdisplayedbyahighlypeatedmaltisstunning:youstartwithabonfireofdriedherbsandseaweedsonthesmokyside,thenyoureachthephenolicsidewithb...

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