The Isle of Skye 12, like it’s younger brother the Isle of Skye 8 year, is a blended whisky where all of the component parts, malt and grain whisky alike, have been aged for at least 12 years before being blended together. After blending, the entire concoction is then put back into casks to rest and marry for a bit before getting dumped and bottled.
According to their site the Isle of Skye 12 “contains an exceptionally high proportion of distinctive island and mellow Speyside malts” and from what I tasted it seems to hold true. It tastes less spirity than the 8 year and has a nice depth of flavor and character to it. I’m not adverse to blends and don’t habitually snub them, but on the whole I don’t find them to be quite as robust and enjoyable as most decent single malts. The Isle of Skye 12 is definitely the exception to the rule. It’s a blend that I would happily drink night after night; the well balanced mixture and sweet and smoke is tasty as can be.
Isle of Skye 12 year Review
Age: 12 years
Blender & bottler: Ian Macleod Distillers ltd
A rich caramel kicks things off and brings along some mango, peat, spice, malt, and orchard fruit. Weaving in and out are some nice notes of candied citrus, bing cocktail cherries and a whiff of smoke. There’s a mild alcohol burn but it isn’t distracting and in an odd way it actually feels right at home.
Things change gears here and the peat leads the charge with caramel, char, burnt sugar and a dark sweetness playing the role of the infantry. The calvary that comes riding up behind is made up of some young tart citrus peel, grain alcohol and a bit of murky sulpher. Overall it has a dark quality to it that is equal parts smoky, meaty, resinous and tarry that work for this one.
Caramel, peat, vanilla, wood and a dark earthy quality stretch out in a long finish
BALANCE, BODY & FEEL
Moderately balanced with some of the darker notes weighing heavy. It has a thick body and a slick oily texture that make this a blend I actually want to drink regularly.
It has a “classic scotch” aroma and taste to it. This is what I expected all scotch to smell and taste like when I was younger; before I fully understood the category and what it was about. Though to be honest, even after years of drinking Scotch from all over the great land of Scots this flavor and aroma is still what I imagine when I hear the word scotch. The thickly sweet nose with notes of smoky peat, the dark sweet smoky and mildly meaty palate and rich dark finish. It’s kind of like the movie or TV version of Scotch because even though I know Jack Donaghy only drinks Johnnie Walker and Ron Burgundy only drinks Macallan (at least in #2), every time they pour a glass this is the experience I imagine them having.