TASTING NOTES

Aberfeldy(5)

Aberlour(12)

Abhainn Dearg(1)

Ailsa Bay(2)

AnCnoc(6)

Ardbeg(41)

Ardmore(12)

Ardnamurchan(2)

Arran(22)

Auchentoshan(9)

Auchroisk(5)

Aultmore(6)

Balblair(14)

Balmenach(1)

Balvenie(17)

Banff(1)

Ben Nevis(12)

Benriach(17)

Benrinnes(11)

Benromach(12)

Bladnoch(6)

Blair Athol(11)

Bowmore(35)

Braeval(2)

Brora(11)

Bruichladdich(26)

Bunnahabhain(29)

Caol Ila(62)

Caperdonich(4)

Cardhu(4)

Clynelish(45)

Cragganmore(4)

Craigellachie(5)

Daftmill(3)

Dailuaine(7)

Dallas Dhu(3)

Dalmore(9)

Dalwhinnie(9)

Deanston(3)

Dufftown(5)

Edradour(3)

Fettercairn(1)

Glasgow(1)

Glen Albyn(1)

Glen Garioch(7)

Glen Elgin(6)

Glen Flagler(1)

Glen Grant(16)

Glen Keith(12)

Glen Mhor(3)

Glen Moray(9)

Glen Ord(2)

Glen Scotia(8)

Glen Spey(2)

Glenallachie(16)

Glenburgie(7)

Glencadam(8)

GlenDronach(24)

Glendullan(3)

Glenfarclas(20)

Glenfiddich(12)

Glenglassaugh(5)

Glengoyne(13)

Glenlivet(13)

Glenlossie(8)

Glenmorangie(10)

Glenrothes(15)

Glentauchers(5)

Glenturret(5)

Glenugie(2)

Glenury Royal(1)

Hazelburn(6)

Highland Park(32)

Imperial(5)

Inchgower(3)

Isle of Jura(8)

Kilchoman(26)

Kilkerran(10)

Kininvie(1)

Knockando(1)

Lagavulin(25)

Laphroaig(44)

Ledaig(20)

Linkwood(12)

Littlemill(11)

Loch Lomond(6)

Longmorn(18)

Longrow(10)

Macallan(39)

Macduff(12)

Mannochmore(3)

Millburn(1)

Miltonduff(8)

Mortlach(23)

North Port-Brechin(1)

Oban(7)

Octomore(7)

Old Pulteney(5)

Pittyvaich(4)

Port Charlotte(18)

Port Ellen(18)

Raasay(1)

Rosebank(13)

Royal Brackla(8)

Royal Lochnagar(3)

Scapa(5)

Speyburn(1)

Speyside(7)

Springbank(34)

St. Magdalene(4)

Strathisla(3)

Strathmill(3)

Talisker(18)

Tamdhu(5)

Tamnavulin(1)

Teaninich(5)

Tobermory(12)

Tomatin(10)

Tomintoul(11)

Tormore(4)

Tullibardine(2)

Wolfburn(2)

Undisclosed Distillery (52)

Ailsa Bay (2015, OB, 48,9%)

4319f6b7ede0e2b3b5d16798a6a445d4

Ailsa Bay is – how to say – a conceptual distillery: Grant’s group, which owns Glenfiddich and Balvenie, decided in 2007 to upgrade the Girvan grain distillery, implementing Ailsa Bay. The aim is to save the precious Balvenie malt, replacing it in blended whiskies. Moreover, it’s now possible to produce whiskies with different styles (peaty, nutty, fruity…). This operation has been hailed as a case-study, because it’s the opposite of terroir’s idea: the whisky production becomes extremely flexible and the distillery manager is now allowed to produce every kind of spirit he deserves. These days the whisky industry is struggling between two philosophies: industry or craft, big numbers or small productions. This dichotomy reminds to us the one between the raw material worship and the focus on final result. It’s a matter of approach to Scotch whisky and both visions are of course legitimate. Someone follows history, tradition, terroir and slow drinking; some others are focused on production targets. We can’t figure it out, but we believe that quality must be the only North Star, so we taste this Ailsa Bay bottling looking for it. It’s a heavy peated whisky from the Lowlands: what a post-modern mess!

Schermata 2016-08-12 alle 18.28.20

N: at the beginning peat is the king. Powerfull whiffs of tar, burnt plastic and tires. The sweetness is initially inorganic too, with notes of dental paste. There’s a simple vanilla sensation and some liquid sugar. Later, pleasant and vibrant notes of cut grass and wet lawn. A simple but charming profile.

P: it shows the same bizzarre oddities of the nose, with an intense and strong peatiness, focused on burnt plastic and tar. It’s artificial and medicinal (did you remember Paracetamol?)… The herbaceous notes are here slightly bitter and they introduce us to the last part of the palate: a well balanced sweetness of vanilla and pear.

F: does it really need to be said? Smoke, smoke, smoke. Plastic, tar and burnt tires…

Not bad, even if it’s rather unique. Not only from a “conceptual” point of view, being a peaty malt from Lowlands a terroir blasphemy. The bitter and inorganic note unleashes a huge range of sensations. Whether you’re traditionalists or avant-garde whisky fans, drink it without too many prejudices. We did it and our vote is 84/100.

Recommended soundtrack: CCCP – Io sto bene.

Share on facebook
Share on twitter
Share on email
Share on tumblr
Share on whatsapp
Share on pinterest
Share on linkedin
Share on telegram

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

ISCRIVITI ALLA  NOSTRA NEWSLETTER!

VUOI SCRIVERCI?

info@whiskyfacile.com