Islay Mist is a fairly unique whisky: It’s a blended Scotch that, as the name implies, is fairly well peated. Created in the 1920s, it’s the only blended Scotch in the world that is permitted to use the word “Islay” in the name.
The whisky is made at the Laphroaig Distillery, where it is blended with Speyside malt. (Clearly there is some grain whisky in the blend, as well.) The finished product is aged in bourbon casks for 8 years. Additional versions with older age statements and/or sherry casking are also available, but today we kick off with the original 8 year old.
First, let’s get this out of the way: Those expecting a Laphroaig copy are going to be sorely disappointed. The peat here is mild-to-moderate, definitely present but quite gentle, and integrated on the nose with notes of lemon, some briny seaweed, and a mild leather note. The palate is quite gentle and wholly approachable — not much peatier than a Johnnie Walker Black Label, really — with a nutty character that melds well with the smoky elements. Again, it’s a bit briny, with notes of brown banana, some tobacco, and nougat all melding nicely on the finish. A great bargain for a whisky that is, at least, Islay-adjacent.
A- / $26 / islaymist.com