To prove that I do not only drink expensive Single Malt whisky, you should know that brands like McClelland’s and others really can help me keep my spending down. McClelland’s Islay whisky is a single malt, and is a close relative to the prestigious Bowmore Single Malt whisky’s from Islay. How close? Well, you might say they share the same owner! Morrison Bowmore Distillers of Glasgow, Scotland. So you can be assured you are not purchasing some product that is not given someone’s full attention.
I’ve enjoyed this McClelland’s back to back with the Bowmore 12 and it is obvious they are related, though the Bowmore is clearly superior. With that said, the McClelland’s is fully representative of an Islay “peated” scotch. At half the cost of Bowmore 12-year-old it is worth trying. If you are into mixing scotch (with other inferior liquids) you would be well off working with this one.
While I do not get the same enjoyment out of this dram as I would a Bowmore 12 year (or lesser aged ones) I do enjoy saving a little money and its hard to appreciate different Islay offerings if you do not have something to compare them to. This would make a great addition to a bar for when you have that scotch lover show up, he/she will definitely be surprised!
Though the ABV% is 40, the Phenols are kickin! There is a wonderful oiliness on the palate also. This is a full mouth of Islay.
The Distiller’s tasting notes are as follows:
Full bodied and robust.
Lingering wood cinders of tar and smoke, with just a trace of vanilla and a subtle citrus note.
A strong Islay character with traces of sea salt and burnt oak chips. The smokey nature is apparent throughout; a malty vanilla flavour bringing balance to the overall taste.
A powerful Islay aftertaste of sweet smoke with a hint of iodine.