Islay Mist would not have existed had it not been for the request made by Hugh Morrison of Islay House for a stock of Laphroaig malt whisky to be made available for his son’s 21st birthday celebrations. Distiller Ian Hunter felt the whisky might prove too potent for the laird’s southern guests, and put together some vatted malts using Laphroaig and a couple of famous Speyside malts. At the warehouse tasting before the final choice was made, Morrison picked on one and said: ‘That will put them all in a bit of a fog Ian,’ to which Hunter replied: ‘Not a fog… more like an Islay mist!’
Eventually a blend was created by Laphroaig owner D. Johnston & Company and registered as Islay Mist with a label incorporating the Great Seal of Islay. It was immensely popular on Islay and was the ‘go to’ blend for many Ileachs who preferred it to the island’s single malts.
The brand was eventually acquired by MacDuff International from Allied Lyons in 1992, and has since undergone a complete makeover with new trademarks, expressions and packaging to appeal to a broader market.
Whisky writer Dave Broom believes “It’s a jewel” while his colleague Jim Murray calls Islay Mist “charmingly brazen” and “more an Islay fog than mist”. But that is rather subjective. For objectivity turn to those gold medals the whisky wins at international competitions. Here spirits are judged blindly by industry experts, journalists and connoisseurs. Enjoy the full balanced flavours however you prefer, be it neat, over ice or even in a cheeky penicillin drink.
Nose: A subtle and seductive mixture of smoky peat and seaweed.
Palate: The peat is dominant but mellowed with a complex fusion of sweet malt, salt and oak.
Finish: The soft peat clings to the roof of the mouth as toffee and coffee ensure a bitter-sweet finish.
No reviews yet.