AISLA BAY RELEASE 1.2 48,9 °
Located in the south of Scotland is the cradle of the whisky industry: The Lowlands, the other whisky country!
This region known for distillates with dry and floral notes and since the crisis for the presence of grain distilleries (often an essential element in the construction of blends), and unfortunately also of "Lost distilleries", has just seen the arrival (thanks to the WIILLIAM GRANT & SONS group) of a new small AISLA BAY.
Like all little troubles he had to be atypical and he is. In the land of flowers and green grass fields this newcomer is...peaty! But here too, however, its peat had to be different from that produced not far north on ISLAY. Also, the designers have embarked on an addition of softness (taking the opportunity to create a unit of measurement the SPPM - the Sweet Part Per Million -).
To do this, the teams at the AISLA BAY distillery have chosen to use the usual ageing methods: the fresh peated distillate from the stills is "shocked" by spending only 6 months in a bourbon quater-cask to be loaded with aroma, then it is "softened" by a long rest period in new American oak barrels.
A straw-coloured liquid comes out, mixing sweetness and peat. According to the master blender, it is measured at 22 PPM and now at 19 SPPM, which gives it a good balance and makes it a new appellation of Lowlands peaty! It should be noted here that this beautiful liquid is then poured into a bottle whose design stands out from the lot and whose neck calls for tasting (Editor's note).
Also, when the nose dives into the glass, it gets clearly peated notes as in any whisky at 22 PPM (level that already indicates a good charge of smoke) but also slightly sweeter notes in the background. Almost a roasted almond smell. Point of greenery as in a Lowlands.
In the mouth, it remains faithful to the announcement of its 22 PPM, with well marked notes of peat and tar (rubbed in the palm of the hand without being mistaken, this whisky is peated) but, and this is where the difference lies, it clearly shows a certain sweetness and a clearly mellow character. If we were to try to feel what 19 SPPM represents here, it would seem that it would be slightly caramelized and sweet but also fresh notes.
These mellow notes of "caramelized peat" give way to fresh notes (which assimilate it to a real Lowlands) but also peaty notes (which make it special) at the end of the palate and in the overall finish.
All these elements make this newcomer a beautiful surprise and a great success and perhaps heralds a renewal of this region of southwest Scotland.
I bought myself one... !