As well as a ‘Rich Peat Edition’ crafted from peated Highland malt whisky (no prizes for guessing), Angel’s Nectar have also produced an Islay Edition. The cask composition of this blended malt is not provided, nor is it said whether this is an ‘all-Islay’ blend. I suspect that the base components of the release might well be similar to the Original edition but with an additional parcel of peated Islay spirit. It is however noted as being 5 years of age and being matured in ex-bourbon barrels. Bottled 47% ABV, the release can be purchased directly from Highfern for £49.
Nose: Wild honey, lemon gel and digestive biscuits liven a backdrop of woodfires, cold cream and antiseptic. Damp peat and earthiness sit with a joint of smoked ham, whilst smoothed pebbles and brine are joined by a selection of tinctures, gauzes and medicinal oils. Dilution adds additional vegetal and mineral aspects – seaweed and lead mulch alongside shale and slate.
Taste: Develops somewhat unusually. Opening on salt water, floor cleaner, bandages and antiseptic before moving into sour cider apples, tart lemons and pumice stone. Honey and white jelly babies emerge, before the peat influence returns with ash and dry oakiness offset by engine oils and machine greases. The addition of water reduced the dryness of the wood substantially, offering sweet citrus notes of balm and candied peels, whilst amping up the mineral levels with additions of hewn granite and limestone.
Finish: Quite long, persistently medicinal and with an underlying pang of minerality.
The Islay Edition of Angel’s Nectar is unmistakably Hebridean – equal parts medicinal, coastal and mineral. It stands up well in a crowded field (though perhaps not necessarily on quite as well on the price point), though to my taste benefits from a few drops of dilution which reduced the sense of clinging oakiness from the mid-palate.
Review sample provided by Highfern
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