Vikings, Kilts, Helmets & Whisky

Who exactly are the Boys?   I met them last year and again this year with my whisky tours on Islay. I love the whisky names and the drams are no bad either. They are Mackay Smith from Portnahaven (a grand wee harbour community) and Donald MacKenzie from Port Charlotte (say no more), both villages on the Rhinns of Islay.  Many moons ago this land belonged to the Clan Maclean, this is where I come in. The boys are long term friends with a shared passion for whisky, family and community,  like Ketill Flatnose, Magnus Barelegs and their Viking and Celtic forefathers they have travelled the four corners of the globe – from New York and Paris to the spice fields of Zanzibar,  taken experiences and blended them with the tradition of home, creating whiskies that they enjoy drinking together with friends and family (and me!).

Flatnose; how did that come about?  Ketill Flatnose was a Viking King of the Isles of the late 9th century, Magnus Barelegs; was a Viking King of Norway of the late 11th century: both of them were seafaring warriors who ruled the vast, rugged and wild western seaboard of Scotland. Their successors were the Celtic Lords of the Isles the Macdonalds, who ruled their domain from their base at Finlaggan, Islay. The Macdonald, Macleans, Campbells and the Norse did have troubles with eachother;  and take some time out to read these Islay history blogs.

So to the drams – and good they are;

Bårelegs Highland Single Malt Scotch whisky 46% vol. un-chillfiltered. Heather notes with subtle peat smoke. An unusual, lightly peated Single Malt from the Highlands of Scotland. Although not a whisky from the Isles we are sure Magnus Barelegs would approve!

Bårelegs Islay Single Malt Scotch whisky 46% vol. un-chillfiltered. Peated and crisp with a subtle sweetness. A Single Malt from our home island of Islay. Direct, frank, full of character: like Magnus Barelegs himself! Winner of the IWSC 2018 Silver medal.

Flatnöse Blended Malt Scotch whisky 46% vol. un-chillfiltered. Lightly peated, hints of honey and citrus. The bolder, all malt brother of our Flatnöse Blended Scotch – a special whisky for Ketill Flatnose and his crew. Winner of the IWSC 2017 Silver ‘Outstanding’ medal!

Flatnöse Blended Scotch whisky 43% vol. un-chillfltered. Rich with hints of pepper and smoke. Full of flavour, with nothing taken away: the way we feel Ketill Flatnöse would have enjoyed his whisky. Winner of the IWSC 2017 Silver medal!

Wee note; Flatnose was named after the helmet he wore, the type with a flat piece to protect the nose. Barelegs, well he liked the kilt, enough said. My suggestion to you is that next time you venture to Islay, call in on the boys, they are no fierce you know, no so much Vikings and friendly Scots, I do at every opportunity and, I buy bottles to use in our tastings on tour as you can see in our photo, spreading the word! Go for it. Paul McLean, Perth 2019.