I enjoyed this one much more than the first release. Remarkable similarity in my comments – Promises Islay but doesn’t have the weight/structure or malty backbone to deliver it. This expression has lots of sweet fruitiness to balance the dry peat smoke and is very reminiscent of many Islay malts – resulting in a very enjoyable dram – I wonder if WG&S are experimenting at making their own Islay style malt here in the absence of a distillery on the island?
Well balanced, sweet and peaty (a lot like Kilchoman) but more approachable/accessible, there is not that depth of phenolic and salty Islay peat here as there can be in Kilchoman. This is a well manufactured malt and I really enjoyed drinking this one but a closer inspection reveals the youthfull cracks that have been covered by surreptitious peat usage. One to watch out for though as I suspect later batches of Ailsa Bay will build quality onto this solid base. 82/100