Samaroli Islay

Scotch Whisky Advent Calendar 3rd Edition Day 16 Blog #151 – Samaroli Islay 8 Year Old

It’s been pretty cold here in Alberta of late to say the least so it is well overdue for another return visit to Islay the land or warming peat and smoke. Samaroli have done an amazing job with their blending of Single Malts over the years and I like to showcase how well this can be done by popping one or two of their new expressions each edition.

Today we are looking at a blended malt that is a combination of over 99% malt from one distillery. This cask comes under the definition of tea-spooning. This practice is a touch controversial in Scotland circles as some believe that there is no spoon….ing.

There is no spoon

When a distillery releases a cask but does not want it interfering with their own sales they can prohibit mention of the distillery and even prevent it from being released as a Single Malt. They do this by allegedly throwing in a teaspoon of another malt into the barrel thereby transforming it into a blended malt. There is a considerable number that theorize the fact that the teaspoon never happens and that only on paper is it considered a blended malt. Of course it is impossible to tell either way as the tiniest dash of single malt from another distillery thrown into an entire barrel will have absolutely no impact whatsoever.

So unlike the Samaroli blended malts where various amounts from a number of distilleries are involved really in this case we are looking at an undisclosed Islay Single Malt for all intents and purposes. Lets see if we can figure out which distillery.

Samaroli Islay teaspoon-ed blended malt. Aged for 8 years in a new American oak Hogshead and then bottled at the Samaroli chosen strength of 43% with no chill filtration or caramel added. A bit of an indicator here is the cask number 1883 which tells us that it is just one cask.

Samaroli Islay

Color:   Golden lager

Nose:     Team trainer bag, salt shaker and jerky.

Palate:   Distinctive bowl of burnt rubber and iodine leaking some organic citrus toothpaste (for the mouth feel).

Finish:  Bitter lemon rind among the consistent notes of tanned leather, rubber gloves and medicine cabinet.

The medicinal character even goes so far as to give my palate a bit of a numbing effect and at only 43%. This is a very big whisky and again belies the light color. So you be the judge… spoon or no spoon? Distillery options anyone?

This should satiate even the hardcore Islay fan for at least a few days.

In the second edition on this day we had the Samaroli Benriach 1996 Single Malt which you can revisit here.

Lets see what the Lassie has to say about this Samaroli Islay.

For those of you looking for a bottle of this delicious Islay you can email me here at and I will point you in the right direction.

Tomorrow we are grabbing a ferry away from Islay and heading to the mainland for another visit to the Highlands to discover yet another style of whisky that we love to add in each edition but is largely unknown for lovers of Single Cask Scotch. This will be presented to us by the fabulous team at Wemyss Malts.

Looking forward to seeing you all tomorrow


Jonathan – taster of secrets


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