McClelland's Highland Single Malt Scotch Whisky

| 1 Comment
mcclellandshighland.jpg
The McClelland's brand of regional single malts is a fairly common sight on LCBO shelves nearly everywhere across the province. Named after 19th century Glaswegian whisky firm, T&A McClelland's, it's four expressions are inspired by Scotland's "key whisky distilling regions": Lowland, Islay, Speyside, and Highland. Bottled at 40% ABV, all the whiskies share the same $45.20 price tag making them among the cheapest Scottish single malts around. But without a distillery name or an age statement, is it worth a gamble?

Given that the Morrison Bowmore Distillers' "McClelland's" product line isn't a distillery nor owns any distilleries, there's much speculation that it's regional single malts are actually unnamed whiskies from the parent company's distillery holdings: Auchentoshan, Bowmore, and Glen Garioch. Being a lover of Bowmore, I tested this theory with the Islay expression and it was a let down. 

Could the Highland expression be better?

Nose:  Sharp; redolent of wood shavings and damp cardstock with a whiff of vanilla buttercream icing. A little time in the glass reveals a delicate fruitiness.

Palate: Light-bodied with flavours of thinned caramel, more wood shavings, fruit lozenge, ginger, and a dash of cocoa powder.

Finish: Plenty of hang time here; the cocoa notes, tinged by lime, twist into a sour, burning, tootsie roll whose smoldering embers emit a mouth-coating reek of whisky-soaked ashtray.

Overall: Truly unpleasant and that finish tastes like someone cleaned out my throat with an old bong brush. There's not much appeal here for me and the cheap-ish price still doesn't make it go down any easier. If McClelland's Highland expression really is Glen Garioch, (and I don't think it is...) I can understand why they'd rather not say.

1 Comment

Perhaps what they're bottling for McClelland's is the dregs, after bottling the single malt expressions and providing whatever malt is required for their blends. Could they have used unpeated Ardmore for this? But it does make you wonder what is going into the Speyside bottling, as other than the 25% share of Macallan, they don't seem to have a Speyside distillery...unless McClelland's is where all the substandard Macallan goes...

Leave a comment


Feeds



Recent Comments

  • Dan commented on McClelland's Highland Single Malt Scotch Whisky:

    Perhaps what they're bottling for McClelland's is the dregs, after bottling the single malt expressions and providing whatever malt is required for their blends. Could they have used unpeated Ardmore for this? But it does make you wonder what is going into the Speyside bottling, as other than the 25% share of Macallan, they don't seem to have a Speyside distillery...unless McClelland's is where all the substandard Macallan goes...

Monthly Archives

Whisky Wheel

OpenID accepted here Learn more about OpenID