Not to long ago I was lucky to sample a couple of blends that had come from Islay. The Flatnose blends from The Islay Boys were a revelation for me, having a beautiful balance and depth making them an ideal introduction to Islay pleated whisky.
At the time I did my review I said that they had impressed me so much, that they had earned a permanent place on my whisky shelf. It also made me want to get hold of the single malt they had in their range, this is called Bårelegs after the viking King of the Isles.
Just like the Flatnose blends the single malt expression is using the heritage of Islay in its name, something both owners of the company have a huge passion for.
The expression is a single malt from an undisclosed Islay distillery, bottled at 46% abv and un-chillfiltered. I belive its non coloured but can not find any details to confirm this.
So while I was in London I got the chance to get hold of this, so how does it taste..
Nose: Soft peat, poached pear, apple, campfire embers, BBQ bacon, tar & brine come through with time, quite light for an Islay peated malt..
Palate: Peat smoke, gentle campfire Ash, Oak, stem ginger, touch of vanilla, subtle hint of chilli with a touch of lemon in the background..
Finish: Quite long with a soft smoke and a nice ginger heat that stays to the end..
Well I was really impressed with the blends like I said before but this, well it’s on another level to them. It has such a great complexity and richness to it, yet its not a huge peat bomb that dominates your taste buds. You get the peat straight away but at the same time the cask influence is present, there’s no fighting to find those subtle flavours that are present.
It sounds a little strange to say this but I do think this is an peated Islay expression that could win over some non peated whisky lovers. It’s Islay through and through but with a fresh crispness about it that just makes you want to have another dram.
I’ve got my ideas on which distillery this has come from and yes I do feel it’s not that old, what it is though is an absolute must try and for me own. If it is from the distillery I suspect, its also an amazing bargain. So well done to The Islay Boys you have done it again and completely wowed me with this expression. Please keep up the great work, what you are releasing is a great representation of how excellent Islay whisky can be.