About this blog:

This blog will feature tasting notes, reviews, distillery visits and whisky news with focus mainly on Scottish single malts. This will sometimes be accompanied by politically incorrect (whisky) opinions. You have now been warned! :-)
The views expressed here are entirely my own, unless otherwise stated.

Wednesday, 27 January 2016


One of the upcoming releases in February is the Ailsa Bay Single Malt from Ailsa Distillery in Girvan in the Scottish lowlands.

Ailsa-what some of you might say?? Well, its the Wm. Grants & Sons (Glenfiddich, Balvenie, Kininvie, Girvan) new powerhouse of a distillery, neighbouring the Girvan Grain Distillery. It was built back in 2007 and was up until August 2013 equipped with 12 washbacks and 8 stills when another set of each was put into production, bring it up to 24 washbacks and 16 stills with a total capacity of 12.000.000 liters of spirit annually.

The distillery produces 4 types of spirit on its Balvenie-style stills. One light and fruity, one slightly more sulphury and 2 peated spirits... one medium peated and one heavily peated, around 50ppm.

The one in the review below will be the medium peated version on 21pp, around the same as Bowmore Distillery on Islay. This version was actually released in Denmark at the start of November 2015 and since its official release is coming up, it'll be a good time to review it here...

The Ailsa Bay Bottle, January 22nd 2016 © The Malt Desk 2016

Ailsa Bay No-age-statement, 48,9%, 21ppm, Distillery bottling

Colour is pale straw

A lovely sweetness at first, vanilla, grist, pot ale, some floral notes (fabric softener?) and a few feinty notes peeking through - nothing offensive though... and then there's the smokiness. Its always there and present from the first nosing - complimenting the sweetness quite well.

How old is this stuff? 6-7yo maybe? if so I'd say it has been in some very active casks... It has quite a decent arrival on pear notes, grass, custard, ginger, hints of white wine, lots of honey, fresh flowers from the garden and a very noticeable smoke (not peat), followed by a oaky/peppery rush. It reminds me of something in between an Arran and a Glenlivet with added smoke, so that isn't at all bad, right?

Now, regular readers will know I'm not a fan of NAS whisky unless its priced accordingly to whats in actually in the bottle - so is this one?? No, its too expensive if you ask me, at least here in Denmark where its just under £70

Is it good? Yes, its a nice fresh young whisky in a style that I could get used to... had it been at a better price.


Finally, big thanks to Adrian for the sample

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