Nose: A smooth earthy two-toned aroma that slowly builds at the back of the nose – it is a slender smelling whiskey that shifts with its subtle undertones. I got an image of a stark yawning factory inhabited with metal machines, there are collections of men in lab coats holding clipboards and muttering technical details under their breath, checking dials and checking again. The scent clings to the emptiness and smell of the oily concrete floor – the contrast between, the grit and earthy concrete and the silvery tang of the silent metal.
Palate: The smoothness continues into the first sip and again the flavours filtered in slowly. There are tones of peaty damp earth, with slightly salty and smokey currents. There were immediate images of the dark water stained patches on hot concrete and that joyful smell of petrichor. The taste of dried fruit clings to the mouth and takes me back to my time working in a health food shop and the sight of dried apricots in transparent bags. The taste is restrained and not overpowering, the 2nd and 3rd sip bring more rewards, and it’s a dry and light whiskey that grows on you, rather than grabbing you and shaking you, this subtlety is something to be admired.
Finish: As the flavours wilt, the mouth is left with a pleasant smokey and bitter tang. A taste of dried grass and hay hums a little inside the cheeks, it’s a nice feeling; like jumping in hay bales as a child and that slight prickle of the hay against bare legs. Just before the volume of the whiskey reaches zero you get the resonance of that salty sea breeze that characterises Scottish Island Whiskey.
This whiskey is delicate and charming, there are many different flavours that fluctuate and pulsate in the mouth, but never overpowers. The overall taste is raw and peaty and this carries the other flavours within it, the balance of bitter and sweet make this a very smooth drinkable dram. The inscription on the packet states a nice piece of the island history, gleefully I poured the whisky with my palm against the ancient symbol (Ankh Cross) on the bottle and sat back and waited for the good luck and fortune to come – and strangely it did, what a week I had after drinking this whiskey, related or not...who cares.