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The inaugural release from Ailsa Bay – peated Lowland whisky. The distillery can produce a variety of different styles of spirit and for this first release Grant's have decided to go for smoke, creating a rare peated Lowland. It's got a rich and earthy backbone, with sweet liquorice and touches of tar.
Ailsa Bay is unusual in a number of respects. Not only does it display the PPM (Phenol Parts per Million) of the actual whisky on the bottle, but it also provides a figure for SPPM: Sweet Parts Per Million. The latter is a revolutionary method for measuring a whisky's sweetness, designed by master blender Brian Kinsman. Furthermore, Ailsa Bay is the only whisky to undergo 'micro maturation', whereby the new make spirit is first aged in small bourbon casks for six to nine months, in order to create rapid, intense maturation.Tasting Notes (2)
- Liquorice root
Tasting Notes by Stuart P
Dark, serious notes of earth, tar, wet tarpaulin and liquorice combine deliciously with lighter aromas of roasted almonds and toasted oatmeal drenched in honey.
Sweet smoke and bonfire embers merge with liquorice, tarry rope and a refreshing hint of lemon, then soft notes of pear and oatmeal arrive. Youthful but characterful and punchy.
The dark flavours don’t let up: plenty of smoky tar and liquorice.
A fascinating whisky, this is an intriguing mix of the dark and the light.
Producer's Tasting Notes
Intense, smoky phenolic note but balanced with creamy, honeyed sweetness. Then...smoky bacon!.
Zingy, peaty kick layered with beautiful sweetness. A meaty character too – crispy rasher with a hint of maple syrup.
Huge – goes on forever. Again balance of smoke and sweet, savoury but candied spice notes – due to the Oak casks (vanilla) and Hudson (oily, syrupy, sweet).
More from Ailsa Bay
One of my favourites.
Young, vibrant, sweet with a hearty peaty taste. It’s an exceptional whisky, particularly for a lowland malt. The distillers have nailed this one, yes, it’s not complex or has an abundance of aftertaste, but this for me is what makes it special. It’s a proper dram, one for at a log fire on a winters night. It leaves you feeling warm and content. I’m glad it’s not aged anymore than it is, as the crispness of it is one of its abiding features. It’s by far the best lowland ever made in my opinion and it’s certainly rivals Islays best.
One of the best whiskies my other half has tried, the sweetness finished with the smokey taste leaves a pleasant taste on the palate for being young, highly recommended
I'm surprised at the positive reviews for this whisky. I wasn't particularly impressed by it at all when I tried it recently. It's smoky and a little sweet. And not a lot else. Most obviously it tasted young, too young. Fair enough if you're selling it at ?30 a bottle. But at ?50 it's in the same price range as some serious scotches. Including quite a few very good smoky ones if that's your thing that offer more complexity than this for your money. What's to like? Its NCF, natural colour, bottled at a decent strength. All to be commended. If they gave it a few more years in the cask and gave it an age statement say 8-10 years old, it might be a very interesting whisky.
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