Asda Extra Special Islay Single Malt Whisky
~£22.00 from Asda
I’m setting myself a mission on the run up to Christmas to try some of the mid range supermarket own brand whiskies and write reviews for them. There aren’t enough reviews out there of these whiskies, and they are often overlooked because of the supermarket name on the label. Time to see if they should be ignored of if this is a falsehood and your missing out on a particular taste sensation or superbargain.
It’s a stinky one (in a v good way). Twiglets. Barbecue beef ribs. Road tar. The smoke is partially medicinal, partially twiggy bonfire. Dry herbal sweets. Cough candy twists. Liquorice. A touch of bandage and hospital waiting rooms. Sour apples. Ozone. A little fishiness, some mackerel alongside the ribs on the BBQ. That’s quite an intensive Islay experience right there.
Sweet, a touch watery in the arrival. Then earthy grass and moss in abundance. Peat reek and sweetness coming into the development. More grass and dry earth, straw, dry liquorice root, more indescribable herbal notes, cigarettes, a touch of tart citrus. Lip smacking. Now some jelly fruit sweeties are coming through. This is one that changes around quite a lot from sip to sip. Yes, more fruit now, apples, sweet citrus, sweet peat, pear drops. There’s an awful lot going on here.
Medium length finish. Has lots of fizzy fruit refresher sweets. Peat. Wet green grass. A touch of oak. Dry liquorice. Those herbal sweets and cough candy twist are a nice leftover.
After a few drops of water added the nose has become more herbal, with heather flowers thrown onto the BBQ for good measure, there is also an added layer of dirt, making this very interesting indeed, extraordinarily complex. The palate is also got this extra herbal nature to it, also a touch more meatiness in the development. The finish is smokier. Breathing out after party sip is reminiscent of a good menthol cigarette.
This is a fundamentally complex and beautifully constructed whisky. I’m really quite taken aback. There is a real massive peat moment here to be had a fraction of the cost of the peaty whiskies out there at the moment. I’m getting some more of this.
Value for money. Without a shadow of a doubt. Bargain.
Would I buy more? No question. On my way to Asda now if I hadn’t had a few drams.
Which distillery? Well, I would guess at Laphroaig, but then this could be a Caol Ila at a different pleating level to the official bottlings. I’m not sure it’s worth a guess, there’s something very Bowmore about it as well…lets just say it’s definitely Islay!
From my own stash of fascination.