By: David Othenin-Girard
K&L Staff Member
This fun whisky from Arran is now more or less extinct, at least in this package. We are forever in search of a great malt that can properly described as "somewhat peaty." Despite what many might believe, there are very few in-between malts. Almost everything that's readily available is either 30+ parts or zero. Yes, there are a few exceptions: Oban, Balvenie, Dalwhinnie...But, in general, these don't really cross the threshold to really feel the peat in a big way (Oban is probably the closest). There's of course a few exceptions, but the options are extremely limited. So when we came across the Machrie Moor at a very reasonable 20 ppm, we were intrigued. Now add that this small batch is not colored, and bottled at cask strength, and that's a recipe for something special. The color is pale gold. The nose is extremely focused, with an obvious ocean quality, but not the Laphroiag slap that some peat lovers might be craving. Instead, the smoke is lingering in the background with salinity and crystalline malt coming through. Clean and gentle, yet not boring by any means. On the palate some smoldering peat and some green earthiness. Green apple skin, crushed oyster shell, and bits of citrus. This is NOT a lightly peated whisky, but it's a balanced medium peater, which is really very rare in our world. Bottled at cask strength, it's delicious, but this guy loves water too, so don't be afraid to hit it with a few satisfying splashes of water. It develops some interesting character at the slightly lower proofs, offering more citrus, more fruit, and a bit of the salted fish character that we all love so well.