Not only dull and flat, but actually unpleasant.
It is surprisingly difficult to write about bad whisky. There is so much in a good scotch to admire and speak about…so many brilliant qualities to draw attention to. Unfortunately…very few of those are to be found in this bottle.
I want to start out by saying that I truly appreciate what McClelland’s (owned by Morrison Bowmore) is trying to do here. This series of bottlings are an attempt at creating an entry level line of whiskies, wherein each bottling represents a distinct scotch whisky producing region (Islay, Highland, Lowland, etc). Though they haven’t necessarily failed in capturing some of the dominant characteristics of said regions, they have left out one important ingredient. Quality.
There are some deep, dark unpleasant notes on the nose here. Something bitterly floral/weedy and pungent. Almost feinty. It is razor-sharp and zesty, lacking any form of subtlety. I get a touch of peppery something-or-other as well. Nothing seems to work in harmony here. A little time in the glass mellows the pungency a bit, but does nothing to address the off notes.
Tastewise…well…a little better, actually. It has an alcoholic bite that affirms its youth, and delivers buckets of floral notes and bitter greens. Still not good, but better than what you get with your nose in the glass. From here, the finish is all heather and meadows, and thankfully short.
It is hard for me to say that, as for a whisky to earn high marks from me, it must have a long finish that doesn’t deliver sour notes at the end.
Unfortunately, not a lot to say on a positive front here. Steer clear.
…and for those curious…if you care to know which distilleries are actually producing these young malts of the McClelland’s line…look no further than the stable of Suntory’s malts.
– Reviewed by: Curt
– Photo: Curt