Friends and followers! A couple of weeks ago I was fortunate enough to be contacted by the nice people at the PR-firm Edelman Deportivo, working for the swedish drinks-distributor Nigab. They wanted to know if I would like to review their coming release of a whisky called Ailsa Bay, of course I wanted to, and so they sent me a sample, so big thanks for that!
Ailsa Bay was founded in 2007 and is produced at the distillery with the same name. It’s situated in the Lowlands, right beside the grain distillery Girvan. Both distilleries are owned by drinks giant William Grant and Sons.
The whiskey is a peated (21ppm) NAS, and has been matured in bourbon casks from Hudson Whiskey. It’s bottled at 48,9% ABV. Ok, let’s see what we are dealing with!
Seems very peaty and dry! Touches of newly grounded black pepper, also very ”green” in style. In the distant there are layers of citrus/lemon-y-ness, quite a big rubber-y-ness, something like unpacking collectors card from it’s package. Since this is most definitely matured in bourbon casks I thought I’d find something vanilla, but not really, maybe a tad vanilla below all the peat and the rubber-y-ness but that might be imagination/psychological… not really any traces of newmake which in my opinion is something good to lack in a whisky that’s probably quite young, the lack of newmake-scents might also be because of quite low strength. Anyways, definitely an interesting and promising nose that kind of reminds me of a young and peated anCnoc! Let’s have a sip
Hmm… cool stuff! The initial taste is very soft (for about half a second) but then the peat instantly takes over with actually quite a lot of the black pepper from the nose coming through! I also get a quite pepper-y feeling in general and something like salt liquorice taking over when the peat has gone away (which it does quite fast). Even if there’s not really a feeling of newmake on the nose it’s sort of there on the palate mixed up with something kind of vanilla-esque, so the ”young whisky”-style is quite well hidden because of the slightly bourbon-y stuff… Style and profile-wise, this is a quite interesting whisky indeed, but, the aftertaste is very short only lasting 2-3 seconds after swallowing. This probably happens due to age and because of a too low bottling strength, for my taste that is. Also, the aftertaste almost only consists of the feeling of black pepper… Really looking forward to trying the coming releases though!
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