Have you spotted them yet? The new Mac-Talla whiskies from Morrison Scotch Whisky Distillers? It’s a new range from the bottler (who you may know from Càrn Mòr and Old Perth, among others) and consists entirely of Islay single malts.

However, we do not know which Islay whisky it is. But since the Morrison family has always had tight connections with the island and has owned Bowmore distillery for a long time, there are many rumours that it probably is that famous distillery that sits on the shore of Loch Indaal. Whether it’s true or not …. I really don’t know.

Currently, two single malts have been released, both NAS and a third, a 15-year-old, is on the way. But for today, I’ll stick to the Mac-Talla Mara, which is the cask strength edition of one of the NAS versions and is bottled at a strength of 58.2% ABV. Matured in American oak.

Mac-Talla Mara tasting notes:

Nose: campfire smoke mixed with fresh lemons and digestive biscuits. It’s a little briny and quite maritime. Kiwi in the background. Minerals too. Later I also get green apples and pears. Then vanilla custard too and lemongrass. Sweet pastry and a hint of barley sugar.

Taste: young-ish, but very nice. A touch of oats and that campfire smoke again, but actually it’s rather integrated. It’s a cask strength whisky, but it’s not as aggressive as I would have thought. A hint of vanilla. Minerals again. A pinch of sea salt. Kiwi and limes. Green apples. Followed by a sugary sweetness and a touch of white pepper.

Finish: mid-long with a touch of peat and fruits.

It feels a bit young, but does it matter? No. It is a nice Islay whisky with a nice layer of fruitiness, although it may be just a bit too young to really show that. It’s light, fresh and fruity, and not as smoky and aggressive as you might initially expect. Whether it is really Bowmore? I would almost say so, but they could have fooled me. 😉

Bottle provided by Morrison Scotch Whisky Distillers.