Green Isle is a blended Scotch whisky composed around Islay malt, combined with fruity Speyside malt and grain whisky from the Lowlands.
It takes its name from the early descriptions of Islay, as well as a book by Neil Gunn. It is ment to be smoky but also smooth and approachable.
This is made by The Character of Islay Whisky Company, which is actually more of a range of Islay-focused whiskies, marketed by Atom Brands and Master of Malt.
Green Isle (40%, Character of Islay Whisky Co 2020)
Nose: medium smoke, with some roasted cereals and hints of honey coated meat on the barbecue. Some minty / medicinal touches, before the fruitiness comes out (smoked apricot, apple compote). Toffee. Grass in the background.
Mouth: thinner than expected from the nose, much sweeter as well. Lots of toffee notes, deeply baked vanilla pastry and a good deal of pear sweetness and apple compote again. Some earthy touches but less immediate smoke now. Hints of milk chocolate and mocha towards the end, as well as light peppery notes.
Finish: not too long, with pear candy, vanilla and a whiff of sweet ashes.
A blend that is very well put together, combining smokiness and accessibility, avoiding the pitfall of becoming bland. The Islay side comes out above the other components, and even the grains pass virtually unnoticed. It should not be overlooked if you’re shopping for a nice alternative to Johnnie Walker Black Label or simply looking for something really affordable. Available from Master of Malt (now discounted) and other retailers.