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Scotch

Meikle Tòir The Original

$75

OVERALL
RATING

8

Whisky Review: Meikle Tòir The Original

Tasting Notes:

About:
Five-year-old peated Scotch single malt aged in a combination of first-fill bourbon barrels, American virgin oak casks, and rye barrels; 50% ABV; 35 ppm; natural color and non-chill filtered.
Appearance:
Bright, golden honey shines in the glass as I hold it to the light, showcasing strikingly formed legs and thick viscosity.
Nose:
The concept of mainland peat us vs. Islay peat use quickly is noticeable in a much sweeter vs. overly smoky smell, though some smoke is present alongside subtle aromatics of toasted marshmallow, floral, bright apple, and some maple.
Palate:
The peat on the palate is sweet – almost sugary, carrying a subtle amount of smoke. Driving alongside it, one gets some nice nudges of vanilla, brown sugar, caramel, honey, and candy-coated almonds.
Finish:
The finish is light and sweet, with some smoke gently drifting away as this peated whisky slips down my throat.
Comments:
This offering challenges my general idea of peated whisky flavors, which I suppose is what Walker and company are after. It is surprising in several ways, all of which are quite pleasant—well done.
Meikle Tòir The Original review
We review Meikle Tòir The Original, a five-year-old, peated Scotch single malt that’s part of a new peated lineup from Scotland’s GlenAllachie. (image via GlenAllachie)

Editor’s Note: The party behind this whisky gave us a review sample. Per our editorial policies, this in no way influenced the outcome of this review. It should also be noted that clicking the buy link in this review earns our site a small referral payment, which helps to support, but not influence, our editorial and other costs.

The GlenAllachie Distillery in Scotland has legendary master distiller Billy Walker at its helm, who took it over from previous ownership in 2017 alongside some partners. Located at the foot of Ben Rinnes in the heart of Speyside, one of Walker’s early goals was to develop a peated whisky for GlenAllachie. To this end, in 2018, his team laid down the first casks of what, five years later, has become known as the new Meikle Tòir (meaning Big Pursuit) lineup.

As part of this peated whisky focus, Walker used mainland peat from St. Fergus versus the more well-known Islay peat. Mainland peat, formed from the breakdown of trees versus herbs and seaweed common to Islay, creates what he describes as “a much sweeter smoke style.” GlenAllachie is producing only 100,000 liters of this alcohol annually across just six weeks each year.

Furthermore, all Meikle Tòir expressions are subjected to a lengthy fermentation time of 160 hours – nearly triple the industry average – which the Walker feels “adds a fruity, ester-rich character to the subsequent whisky.”

“Every element of the production process was carefully considered to ensure our vision was met,” said Walker at the time of this whisky’s release. “It’s not about accelerating the journey; it’s about expanding the experience. One of the key decisions was to significantly extend the fermentation period to 160 hours, creating thick, ester-rich distillate. Another was to use mainland peat, which delivers a more oaky style of smoke. These choices, along with the use of quality oak casks, are all factors steering us in our pursuit of peated perfection.”

The whisky I’m reviewing today, Meikle Tòir The Original, is one of four making up this brand’s core lineup. Aged for five years in a combination of first-fill bourbon barrels, American virgin oak casks, and rye barrels, this peated Scotch has a 50% ABV and a peat rating of 35 ppm. It is of natural color and is non-chill filtered, priced at $75.

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