McClelland Islay

McClelland Islay 2.jpg

Thanks to /u/shaillur for this sample. Maybe.

Hey, I’ve done a rough world whisky and a rough bourbon. Maybe it’s time to do what I expect will be a rough Scotch?

Well, that’s not to fair. I mean, sure McClelland Islay is owned by Morrison Bowmore distillers, and there’s no such thing as a McClelland distillery, and they just source it from the distillers they own.

And so what that it’s the only Scotch below $50 in Ontario, aka the home of the new prohibition, where prices don’t dip that low from the evil bowels of Hell that is the Scotch producers. Or at least that’s what the LCBO would have you believe.

Sure, those could point to a scary situation. Or the fact that it’s NAS, save for a time when the Speyside had a 12 year age statement on it.

Okay, yeah, that’s all quite frightening. And I’m not the biggest fan of Bowmore when it’s called Bowmore, least of all when it’s hidden behind an NAS.

But… at least it isn’t flavoured. So that’s something. Right?

Fuck it, let’s see if this surprises me.

McClelland Islay 1.jpg

Price: $44.95 (CAD) at the LCBO

Region: Islay

Abv: 40.2%

Colour: 5Y 8/8

Nose: Smoke, old cinnamon, raw potato, earth

Light nose. Very light. Takes a long time to pick up different notes. There’s smoke. Mostly smoke. It’s mainly smoke.

Don’t worry though, a little spice pokes through with some earth. It’s not pleasant, but at least it’s not strong.

Taste: Black pepper, peat, cumin, old graham crackers, sugar, dust

Initially has a very Islay flavour. The earth, the smoke, and the heat. Nice amount.

Given time this goes to a stale sweet flavour, raw sugar, and a bunch of dust. Nothing lasts forever I guess.

Finish: Smoke, old anise candies, salt, malted milk, stale peanuts

This goes between tastes I do like to stale flavours to raw, simple flavours to flavours that seem like they are pretending to be there to… fucked.

It’s not bad. But there’s stuff I don’t like.

Conclusion: If you want to pretend to drink Scotch but don’t have the scratch, this is for you. It’s barely there. I don’t know, maybe it’s better to use it for mixing when you want a splash of smoke. I’m not a fan.

Don’t get me wrong, this has elements that I’d love to see acted upon. There’s a chance this could have been good. But not here. It’s cheap, and cheap for a reason. Not good. Avoid.


Scotch review #535, Islay review #119, Whisky Network review #889

One thought on “McClelland Islay

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