Whisky Review: Isle of Skye 12-Year-Old

Editor’s Note: This whisky was provided to us as a review sample by the party behind it. This in no way, per our editorial policies, influenced the final outcome of this review. It should also be noted that by clicking the buy link in this review our site receives a small referral payment which helps to support, but not influence, our editorial and other costs. 

In June of this year, Ian Macleod Distillers announced its U.S. launch of their blended scotch whiskies aging in range from 8-year-old up to their 30-year-old. This review will focus on the Isle of Skye 12-Year-Old Blended Scotch Whisky. 

Ian Macleod Distillers has four generations of whisky making experience under their belt. Ian Macleod & Company Ltd. was founded in 1933. The family of Leonard Russell Sr., who in 1936 established his own whisky broking company, acquired Ian Macleod & Co. Ltd in 1963. The son of Russell Sr., Peter Russell took over as Managing Director and was succeeded by his son, also named Leonard. In addition to being one of Scotland’s leading independent, family-owned distilleries, Ian Macleod Distillers is also the world’s 10th largest Scotch Whisky company with spirits sales of over 15 million bottles a year. 

Ian Macleod created Isle of Skye blended scotch whisky on what is said to be the most popular of Scotland’s islands in 1933. Located in the northernmost island in the inner Hebrides of Scotland, Skye is the largest island in the Highland council area. 

Each bottle of Isle of Skye Blended Scotch Whisky displays the black ‘Cuillin Ridge’ hills, the famous mountain range on the Isle of Skye. They are part of the Macleod Estate which partners with other agencies for the conservation of the Cuillin’s fragile ecosystem much of which is composed of basalt and gabbro

Isle of Skye 12-Year-Old Blended Scotch Whisky is a blend of peated island malts that have been matched with Speyside and Highland malts as well as grain whiskies. The brand’s official tasting notes suggest fragrant creamy vanilla, orange zest, ground coriander, honeycomb, and hints of heather fire on the nose and the palate offers flavor notes of dried apricot, gooseberry, and spice. 

Iain Weir, Brand Director for Isle of Skye Blended Scotch Whisky said in a prepared statement, “We are delighted to share the updated Isle of Skye range with the U.S. The unique, rich flavors of the whisky are a testament to the careful blending and premium malts and grain that we use to create it. Our stunning new packaging really tells the story of the brand and showcases its heritage on the ancient Isle of Skye.”

The full range of Isle of Skye Blended Scotch Whisky is now available in the U.S. market nationwide at select retailers in 700 ml sized bottles. 

Isle of Skye 12 Year Old review

We review Isle of Skye 12-Year-Old, a blend of peated island malts that have been matched with Speyside and Highland malts as well as grain whiskies. (image via Ian Macleod Distillers)

Tasting Notes: Isle of Skye 12-Year-Old

Vital Stats: Blended scotch, 700 ml bottle SRP $27.99. 

Appearance: Golden amber.

Nose: Fragrant oaky vanilla hints on the nose with scents of warm baking spices, citrus, and green apples.

Palate: On the palate are gentle flavor notes of honey, golden raisins, toffee, and a touch of cinnamon, with hints of sweet black licorice and smoke. 

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