Welcome to the 11th instalment of our regular Whisky Under Fifty reviews, where we review a different whisky (or whiskey) that you can buy for less than £50! If you’d like to know more about why we're doing this series, read our introduction post here. Today’s whisky is Mac-Talla Mara.
Mac-Talla Islay Whiskies
Last year we looked at Old Perth Cask Strength. Today, we have it's Islay cousin. Mac-Talla. Mac-Talla is a range of Islay single malt scotch from the same Morrison Distillers. The Morrison family who have enjoyed a love story with the Island of Islay for the past five generations, once owning Bowmore distillery. Mac-Talla means “echo” in Scottish Gaelic, with the range reflecting different aspects of the island.
There are a few expressions in the Mac-Talla range, all of which are natural colour and non-chill filtered:
- Terra is the entry level dram at 46% ABV
- Mara is the cask strength expression at 58.2%
- Strata is the age statement version, at 15 years old
Today we're going to look at the cask strength version, Mara. Mara means sea, reflecting the ocean around Islay. At a retail price of around £48, it seems good value and an excellent contender for our Whisky Under £50 series.
Colour: Pale straw, thickly coating my glass.
Nose: Marzipan and almonds. Pebbles on the wet sand of the beach. Peat smoke from the nearby campfire. Soft citrus fruits, including lemon. At 58.2% the alcohol is very well integrated on the nose, with no alcohol burn.
Palate: Medium to full mouthfeel, with a pleasing oiliness that coats the mouth. More of that almond marzipan, balanced against gentle citrus fruits. Islay peat smoke, working well against the almond and citrus. There’s a creaminess to this whisky, vanilla cream, perhaps the combination of the ABV and the cask.
Finish: Medium to long finish with vanilla, oak a touch of spice and warmth.
Overall thoughts: I really enjoyed this whisky. For me, the high ABV boosts the flavours and body. I still think this is a welcoming Islay, one I’d be pleased to pour for Islay newcomers. And at £47.95, I think this represents great value.
Try this Islay single malt if you like...
High proof Islay whiskies like Lagavulin, Kilchoman or Bowmore.
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Want to read more reviews in the Whisky Under £50 series? Check out the previous review, Old Perth Cask Strength.