Macleod’s Highland Single Malt Whisky (Scottish Highland Single Malt Whisky: 40% ABV)

Visual: Deep, heavy gold. Medium speed and thickness streaks comes from the spirit.

Nose: Honey. Toffee. Wood shavings. Thick. Stewed apricot. Water adds more wood and slight sulphur.

Body: Honey. White grapes. Toffee. Custard. Apricot. Dry oak. Malt drinks. Water makes very smooth. Similar notes but with slight sulphur.

Finish: Drier oak. Honey. Golden syrup. Slightly milky coffee. Malt drinks. Pepper. Water makes smoother and adds apricot.

Conclusion:This is a solid Highland whisky, a good pick to show what a Highland whisky emphasises and concentrates on. It’s heavy on the sweetness, but pretty smoothly delivered. There being no age statement for this, especially when the previous version was listed as an 8 year, had me worried, and in fact expecting that I was going to run into some serious roughness, but none came. In fact it is smoother than a lot older whiskies I have encountered.

There are lots of honey and golden syrup notes, a bit of toffee – it is hitting a lot of the thick and sweet notes over and over. Hints of apricot and grape fruity sweetness expand while still keeping on theme. There is no real alcohol burn behind that, resulting in a real easy going crowd please of a whisky.

Instead there is a touch of oak, and a quite peppery style into the finish which helps keeps things balanced. Water makes it even smoother, not that it really needed that, but on the down side also makes it a tad sulphur touched – but only very minor so not a huge impact. Still better neat though I would say. There was never any rough edges or closed character that needed water to deal with it.

It is good, solidly sweet, but with slightly more base malt drinks to milky coffee backing mid body to ease that down, and a nicely peppery finish. Nothing unexpected, but pretty cheap for something nicely smooth, and it shows the highland style well.

A good introduction, or a good general drinking dram, if nothing unusual. No complaints, just not a stand out must have either. Pretty cheap and good quality for the price-tag though.

Background: This was a bit of a random pick up – Independent Spirit had a bunch of Macleod single malt minis in – each without a listed distillery, just identified by region, and it was fairly cheap, so I picked one up on a whim. Went with Highland as it is one I tend to try less, so felt like expanding my experience a bit. So, no idea of distillery, so little to prep expectations going in. Googling tells me this used to be listed as an 8 year, but now is a no age statement, go guess is that it has some fairly young whisky in there. Music wise I went with Slipknot – Iowa. Possibly not thematically appropriate for the whisky, but their recent album properly got me back into Slipknot.