Maclean’s Nose Blended Scotch Whisky (700ml)
Ralfy's Whisky of the Year for 2024. "Top coastal blend" - whiskyfun.com
A malt-heavy blend from the team at Adelphi, named after a rocky outcrop not far from the Ardnamurchan distillery (not Charles MacLean's own nose, although he must have had something to do with its creation). Twenty one ex-bourbon Lowland grain hogsheads form a 'blank canvas' to which forty casks of ex-bourbon Ardnamurchan and sixteen ex-sherry casks of the same are added. It’s then dressed with five casks of Campbeltown malt. The significant presence of ex-sherry casks and zero filtration add up to a blend with considerable depth, but the defining character is from the West Coast peated component. This almost tastes like Ardnamurchan 'lite' with the sweet smokey notes supported by an understated fruitiness. The finish intensifies on a peppery note, concluding ashy, fresh and medium long. While it lacks some of the oily richness found in famous rivals like Johnnie Black, Maclean's Nose is so tasty that it's closer to a blended malt than a blended whisky in the mass-produced, contemporary sense. In this case, the slightly higher price is justified. Awarded Whisky of the Year 2024 by the popular youtube blogger, Ralfy. 46% Alc./Vol.
Other reviews... This is brand new, but I've heard it's only due to be heading out of their warehouse towards the end of April. I first used to believe this baby was a much appropriate tribute to Charles MacLean's own nose, but I just saw that 'Maclean's Nose' was the name of a place near Ardnamurchan, and that of a salmon farm as well. The label's been made out of barley draff, which surely is a first, but I've heard the cattle was starting to complain, as that draff is usually used as food for them. You cannot please everyone, I suppose. This shelters 70% malt, so in my book, it's a quasi-malt. Colour: straw. Nose: I am not certain there is some Ardnamurchan in there, but that's totally possible, if not obvious. It's very close to 'nature', to the sea, to the draff (there), to grist, to breads, to lemons, to damp oatcakes, with a small fermentary side in the background, which we always enjoy. Then rather earth, root vegetables, wild carrots, williams pears… You say grain whisky? What grain whisky? Mouth: much smokier on the palate, with this perfect acridness that we always enjoy as well, lemon zests, salt, oysters, sauvignon blanc, then once again these bready, fermentary notes. But the peat's carrying the flag, clearly. Finish: long, clean, natural, with no further changes, bread, peat, lemon, brine, oysters… Comments: quite bizarrely, this baby also reminds me of some of the very best new Japanese malts, in their peated forms. Hey, it's a compliment! Top coastal blend - or indeed quasi-malt. 88 points - whiskyfun.com
...It’s one of the best affordable blends you can grab and enjoy right now and I hope, when this inevitably runs out, another batch will be hastily prepared and ushered forward in the spirit of keen replenishment. - dramface.com
...Nose: Blossom honey, and the delicate florals of honeysuckle and chamomile. Cedarwood and thyme. Underneath, malted loaf. With time, caramel waffles and vanilla, then beef stock and burnt toast. Palate: Medium. Salted caramel on baked green apples, and some nutmeg and cinnamon. Shredded wheat cereal. The savoury stock note returns, backed by stewed plums. Finish: Medium, on apple core and raisins. Comment: A dependable blend with lots to like. - whiskymag.com