Wednesday, January 5, 2011

Wine? Maybe something else... (McClelland's Islay Single Malt Scotch)

I’ve already gone on one or two diatribes about how your mood can affect the way you perceive wine (as in such post as this one) as such I will refrain from redundancy. I am tired tonight. I brought home a bottle of Wynns 2007 Cab/Shiraz/Merlot from Coonawarra, Australia. Were I to indulge myself in a redundant diatribe I would rationalize and justify my decision to forgo the $23 flavours of Australia in favor of the $40 flavours of the isle of Islay, but as I said I will go on no such diatribe.

The Wynns will have to wait. Although I know next to nothing about scotch I have a plethora of reference books related to wine, and I’m sure within the pages of one of those books is at least a short, if admittedly modest, paragraph on scotch…

I have managed to find some information that I may pass along. I’ve often thought that single malt scotch, that is to say single malt whiskey that is produced in Scotland, meant either that there was only one type of malt used and or the bottle contained only one specific batch of whiskey. As it turns out, as a great surprise to me, single malt refers to the distillery(ies) in which the whiskey was made, not to the batch or the malt used. Single malt means that one and only one distillery was responsible for the production of the whiskey, it may have been blended but only with other batches that the same distillery produced.

It seems that in the days gone by and in the days of present there were and are distilleries that specialize(d) in producing specific flavours in a whiskey. Different whiskeys from various distilleries, each with their distinct characteristics, can then be blended together to make a whiskey that is greater than the sum of its parts, this is what is called a blended whiskey.

The scotch that I am enjoying in lieu of the Wynns red wine is a single malt scotch, with a nice smoky character – something which is common amongst scotch whiskey. More on where the smoky character comes from in weeks to come, but for now, I present to you…

Drink: McClelland's Islay Single Malt Scotch Whiskey

Price: $40

Notes: A tasty scotch that has nice flavours of smoke, caramel, cedar, and BBQ spices. It's fairly smooth and enjoyable to drink, for $40 I would buy this again.


  1. A pleasant surprise in the world of single malt scotch whiskey's! This Islay taste's more expensive than it actually is!

  2. There are some awesome stuff to check out in the distillery as well. St. McClelland's Islay Single Distillery really did well to produce a unique premium vodka and gin.