Sample: Mackinlay’s Rare Old Highland malt (Shackelton) 47,3%

This time the subject is…, well I guess everyone knows the story of this particular dram, so I am not going to tell you that again. Thanks to Sjoerd I was in the opportunity to get my hands on a sample of this Blend. It will be the first blend to be reviewed on my blog. So let see if it this blend is worth his high price (approx. 130 euro, but probably not easy to find). Glass is again the trusted Libbey tasting glass. The colour is a beautiful shade of gold.


At thirst there is some smoke, but not the kind you find with Islay styled whiskies. More a fragrant type of smoke, as in burning some scented wood. After that the honey takes over, accompanied with some heather and some lightly rose scents. It feels quite delicate, not too much power in the nose, but crisp and clean. After a while there are some fruit influences coming into play as in honeyed apple and apricot/peach like. Good start, not bad at all.


A follow-up from the nose. Somewhat more smokiness, but still honeysweet in the fore. Still that delicate feel, missing some real star in the taste. There is a nice (maybe too) friendly fight in your mouth going on, between the honey, the smoke and the mentioned fruits. Not quite exciting, but not that bad too.


Not too long finish, quickly fading away due to the delicate flavours, sweetness of the honey takes over, accompanied by some leathery notes, some smokiness lingering around without the power to impress. Again de fruits play a role in the background, changing somewhat to a more prune like flavour. But hey what’s happening know? Some spiciness arrives in the back of your mouth and back into your nose. Some tangling spices as cloves/cinnamon are coming in to play. Unfortunately they disappear as fast as they appeared.


Well this is difficult. The Nose made a promising start, but wasn’t followed by a promising or surprising taste/finish. Overall it is balanced in it is delicacy and it is in my opinion a good blend, but not outstanding excellent and lacking complexity.


As said a nice blend, better than most blend’s I tasted so far (not much tasted yet), but far overpriced for its quality in my opinion.  I’d rather spent my approx. 130 euro on two or even three much better single malt’s. So now it is time to score it. Difficult one, for a blend not bad, but for me it is scoring not more than 75 points.


About gjr71

Whisky enthousiast, working for a auditing firm. Loves Whisky, Wine, Music and a good meal.
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4 Responses to Sample: Mackinlay’s Rare Old Highland malt (Shackelton) 47,3%

  1. Good review GJR!

    I am curious to how your points work? Do you use the full 100 points from 0 to 100, or is it more like WhiskyFun or The Whisky Bible that a whisky is ‘bad’ as soon as it drops below 60?

  2. gjr71 says:

    Thanks for the compliment, Sjoerd!

    I am using the scoringsystem from The Whisky Bible so far, so every categorie can score a maximum of 25 points, adding up to 100. It is possible to get really low scores (I am hoping not to encounter that kind of whisky), but it is no good when it drops below 60. I allways will try to taste multiple times to get an “average”, to exclude as far as possible things as state of mind, surrounding etc.

    Don’t know yet if I will keep this scoring method in the future, might be doing the same as Keith, scoring privatly and just describing the whisky, or something else….

  3. tommy says:

    what single malts would you spend your euros on?

    • gjr71 says:

      Hello Tommy,

      Well is an difficult question. If you forced me to but one bottle for more or less the same amount of money it probably will be this one, but i am in a peated state of mind at the moment. When you allow me to buy more then one for this amount, it would probably be a Ardbeg Corryvrecken and a Glenfarclas 17 year old. I like how Glenfarclasses age!

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