Ailsa Bay Single Malt
Tucked away within the Girvan Grain Whisky Complex, single malt distilleries don’t come much more reclusive than Ailsa Bay. Built to supply malt whisky for William Grant’s blends, there was a feeling that we might never see it released as a single malt whisky.
Once a year it even boots all the conventions you’d expect from a Lowland whisky out the window to create a sweetly peated malt, and to everyone’s surprise, the first commercial bottling of Ailsa Bay takes this form.
Nose: Custard and some phenolic ash, some Big Red too, becoming more chalky and cereal driven with subtle golden syrup. As the producer’s notes state, bacon then emerges.
Palate: Undoubtedly meaty ‘n’ peaty. More of that chalky cereal (dry muesli?) and golden syrup with Big Red in support.
Finish: Sweet, smoky and drying. More Big Red with vanilla.
Overall: The Big Red (spicy cinnamon sweets) are an ever-present but never threaten to dominate this sweet peaty treat.