I understand and fully appreciate that what I am about to taste here is history. Actually, I’m getting a preview of the history that you all out there are about to taste (should you go out and pick up a bottle) and I thank all those involved for sending me a sample to allow me this opportunity.
I could say a lot about this whisky – much of is has been reported by the major (and minor) news outlets.
Rather than throw in my $0.02 in a poor attepmt to expand on the historical aspect of the Mackinlay’s Rare Old Highland Malt Whisky, I’ll let this video do the talking (then review it, as shown below):
On the nose — Very grassy and flinty, a fist full of hay and a full jar of sea salt.
Untoasted & freezer burnt English muffins.
Then the fruits, nuts and saltier treats lay on good and thick – -pineapple, assorted nuts and unripened peach drizzled with melted toffee.
Threads of smoke from ocean grass and and driftwood.
Sea glass and a long walk on the beach (high tide).
An empty box that once held Nilla wafers (wow, that sounds pretentious but, I’m smelling it; the pretentious bastard I am…).
The mix of scents and over all balance is so nice, part of me is refusing to taste this stuff. But, I must move on.
On the mouth — Smoky, bright and crisp.
Lots of flavors here, all of them have burnt edges.
A touch of meatiness here (not in an offensive way, it’s subtle).
Lemon rinds, pears, bruised apples and a high malt influence.
Smokey, malty goodness. Really, a good deal of malt.
Salty but not nearly as much as what I detected on the nose.
Nice mouthfeel over all, a good mix of light viscosity and zingy, fizzy effervescence. I’m sure you know this but, when I say fizzy, effervescent, etc… I’m not suggesting that this (or any other whisky I describe as such) whisky is carbonated. No, I’m describing the feel/sensation one gets from a fizzy drink. Cool? Cool.
Finish — Fizzy pop rocks minus the “POP!”, long, salty
In sum — My initial thought was that this resembles a nice Springbank mixed with some bourbon cask Port Ellen (due to the coastal, flinty, mineral, smokiness). If this replica is exact, Mackinlay knew what he was doing and Shackleton was drinking some fine fancy juice! Well balanced, composed and thoroughly delicious. I’d save this as a treat for yourself or perhaps to impress your friends with. There’s a fantastic story to accompany this one. Lots of great conversation can started with this whisky.
Special thanks goes out to Jill of Whyte & Mackay & Andy H for working your magic to get the sample to me!