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This is blended whisky for single-malt fans, specifically those with a taste for smoke. The name is of course a reference to the island of Islay, home to such heavily peated icons as Laphroaig, Lagavulin and Ardbeg. There's considerable Laphroaig in this blend, which delivers more of a coal-type smoke than Lagavulin's characteristic iodine or Ardbeg's bacon fat. Blended Scotches are a mix of robust barley-based single malts along with lighter grain whiskies based either on corn or wheat. The flavour, and the price, here suggest a higher-than-average contribution from the single-malt side. It's a compelling balance of sweet fruitiness, dry grain and peat, with a rich, creamy texture and nuances of plum, caramel and tobacco. A very impressive blend, and considerably better than the more widely available eight-year-old Islay Mist.

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About the Author
Life columnist

Beppi Crosariol writes about wine and spirits in the Globe Life and Style sections.He has been The Globe's wine and spirits columnist for more than 10 years. In the late 1990s, he also wrote a food trends column called The Biting Edge.Beppi used to cover business law for ROB and previously edited the paper's weekly technology section. More


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