Islay Mist 8 years old Blended Scotch Whisky
Islay Mist Blended Scotch is probably one of the best deals going at the LCBO for a blended scotch whisky. The story goes that Islay Mist was originally created on Islay in 1922 to celebrate the 21st birthday of Lord Margadale as it was thought that the local single malt scotch, Laphroaig, might be too heavy for all the guests' taste. In order to assuage their sensibilities, a blend of Laphroaig with Speyside malts and grain whisky was born.
Nose: Sweet malt with a briny note. Old leather, campfire smoke and peat sit just below the sweeter aromas.
Palate: Soft yet oily with mouth-coating vanilla sweetness and toasted bread notes. The Laphroaig component calls out with a tang of smoke and peat as a smear of iodine runs along to the finish providing a nice counter to the sweeter elements. Like smoky candy in a glass!
Finish: Long, smoky and medicinal but redolent with hits of peppery spice and cocoa. Near the end, a sharp sourness punctuated with a satisfying bite that forces the utterance of a guttural "eaaaghh" affirming that yes, I've just had a good belt.
Overall: Tremendous value. A real steal to be enjoyed in a flask, in a glass, over ice, with water etc... Not a lot of heat here but definitely a kick. Truthfully, this is probably one of the best experiences I've had with Laphroaig (mind you at the time of publication, I've only ever tasted the Quarter Cask) and I feel that it's blend mates really help restrain the strong peaty flavours characteristic of the malt. Just shy of $30, it's become one of my "house" blends and has been formative in acting as a "gateway dram" to more heavily peated single malts and blends.