Ian MacLeod & Isle of Skye


Isle of Skye whisky

A little pontification by the author: Some years ago, back in the early 1990's if my memory serves me correct, I took a holiday on Skye which included some days in B&Bs followed by a week where I abandoned my car and just set off on foot.

I managed to make my way right up to the North of the island where I found a fantastic, newly opened hostel and each evening I endeavoured to make full use of the facilities to cook some wonderful dishes with local produce, including some magnificent lamb from a local butcher.

Another example of wonderful local produce was the whisky, not only Talisker, but a nondescript-looking 8y Macleod's blended whisky called 'Isle of Skye'. Was it the whole holiday circumstances which made this so memorable, or was it indeed a really good dram? Let's see as I now open the 8y & 18y minis which have been in my posession since that time.




Isle of Skye whisky




Isle of Skye, 8y, 40%

blended Scotch whisky

Original cost of this bottle;


Glass: Spiegelau

Colour: Almost copper

Nose: Slightly smoky Scottish moors with bracken, heather and moss. A few wild herbs in there too.

Palate:  Initially slightly smoky, smooth and silky before opening out to include those wild herbs and a little lavendar.

Finish: Quite long, smooth and slightly dry.

Overall impression: A wonderful, easy-drinking blend. Do they still make it like this? If so, I want more!



Isle of Skye, 18y, 'Private Stock No. 45', 43%

blended Scotch whisky

Original cost of this bottle;


Glass: Spiegelau

Colour: Dark gold

Nose: An immediate burst of leather, wood, nuts and an early morning walk along Atlantic-coastal cliffs.

Palate:  Silky, creamy & luxurious. It has nuts, dark fruits, a little marzipan, malt and possibly even a slight hint of banana overlaid with soft orange, fading eventually to a floral delight.

Finish: Medium but silky and creamy with a fruity aftertaste.

Overall impression: My goodness, I thought the 8y was good, this is magnificent. I'll take a case please.



Isle of Skye, 8y, 40%

blended Scotch whisky, an older bottling.

Original cost of this bottle;


Glass: Classic Malt

Colour: Oak

Nose: Musty, malty and peppery.

Palate:  Rich with a suggested of malted biscuit. Mildly peppery and sweet with hints of toffee which remind me immediately of those hard toffee sweets I had as a child. Almost like butterscotch but not quite.

Finish: Medium to long.

Overall impression: I first tried this whisky back around the early 90's during a walking holiday on Skye and my goodness trying this now takes me straight back again to when this and local lamb were my staples for a week.





Ian MacLeod

Other expressions




MacLeod's, 8y, 'Highland', 40%

Highland single malt whisky

Typical cost of this bottle;

Dram-atics 'live' review


Glass: Classic Malt

Colour: Liht yellow gold

Nose: Very aromatic sweet malt, almost reminiscent of that olde worlde sweet shoppe with all goodies open to the elements, very floral and some light butterscotch.

Palate:  Creamy smooth with hints of white pepper leading into the finish. There's also some light, slightly floral fresh-cut wood and faint creamy toffee.

Finish: Long and floral with those white peppercorns.

Overall impression: Thoroughly enjoyable, a fine blended whisky with a light, floral character and plenty of complexity.












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