Whisky Focus - Macaloney's The Peat Project Sugar Kelp Infused Peat-Smoked Whisky

Macaloney's The Peat Project Sugar Kelp Infused Peated Whisky

2nd July 2024
Macaloney’s Island Distillery on Vancouver Island, Canada has crafted a rather unique whisky, Macaloney's The Peat Project Sugar Kelp, merging the Terroir of Vancouver Island with the Merroir of Sustainable Seaweed Cultivation.

Macaloney's The Peat Project Sugar Kelp Infused Peated WhiskyMacaloney’s Island Distillery on Vancouver Island, BC, Canada, has announced the inaugural release of the world’s first sugar kelp-infused peat-smoked whisky. The whisky-makers at Macaloney’s believe that this groundbreaking, limited-edition whisky is poised to captivate the whisky community with its unique blend of maritime and smoky flavours, showcasing a remarkable collaboration between BC and Washington State businesses.

The new-make spirit, from which this whisky is matured, has already achieved global acclaim, winning 'World's Best' in blind tastings by industry judges at the prestigious World Whisky Awards in London, UK. This accolade underscores the exceptional quality and craftsmanship that define Macaloney’s.

Priced at $109.99 per bottle, this limited-edition whisky is available for purchase from the distillery.

The innovative infusion of sugar kelp, a type of brown seaweed chosen for its fresh maritime aromas and sweet smoke, is sustainably farmed along the coast of British Columbia by Cascadia Seaweed in partnership with coastal First Nations. Seaweed thrives solely on the sea and sunlight, enhancing local ocean ecosystems as it grows. Cascadia Seaweed is dedicated to cultivating and harvesting only what they grow, focusing on transforming their crops into agricultural products and supporting collaborations with other local businesses.

Dr. Graeme Macaloney, the visionary behind this unique whisky, revived traditional peat-smoking methods by studying under experts in his ancestral home of Islay, Scotland. The peat used in this process is sourced from Washington State, reflecting a unique Canada-USA collaboration and the innovative spirit of Macaloney’s Island Distillery.

This inaugural release is matured in Dr. Jim Swan’s Portuguese red wine Shave-Toast-Rechar barriques, adding layers of red berry, caramel-toffee sweetness, and deep oak notes to the whisky’s creamy, velvety mouthfeel, juicy malted barley, and tropical fruit profile. The peat and sugar kelp infusion introduces bonfire, burning heather, sweet smokiness, and pronounced maritime notes, finishing with a hint of salt.

This whisky embodies both the terroir of Macaloney’s Island and the Pacific Northwest and the merroir of Cascadia Seaweed. Terroir refers to the natural environment in which the whisky is produced, including soil, topography, and climate, imparting a distinct taste and flavour to the whisky. Merroir, derived from the French word for sea, describes the local conditions in which seaweed is raised. This collaborative whisky marries these elements of land and sea to create an unparalleled sensory experience.

The launch of this sugar kelp-infused peated whisky also marks the second release of Macaloney’s exploration of 'terroir,' trademarked as 'The Peat Project.' Whisky enthusiasts will now have the opportunity to compare this innovative expression with existing Peat Project whiskies, setting the stage for future comparisons with Scottish-Islay peat and Vancouver Island peat.

You will find a small selection of Macaloney's whisky range available f
rom specialist online whisky shops such as Master of Malt

Macaloney's The Peat Project Sugar Kelp Review

Bottled at 46% ABV, non-chill filtered, naturally coloured.

Producer's Tasting Notes:

Nose: The nose has delicate sweet pear-smoke, burnt heather, potpourri with rose petals and oak spices. Crème brulée, strawberry and dried apricots, yield to sweet sugar-kelp reminiscent of the beach at low tide.

Taste: The palate is velvety, with medium peat, sweet pipe-tobacco and oak, complimented with ‘machair’ flowers, pears, thick-cut marmalade, fruit tarts, bramble jam, honey, clove, and cinnamon. It then develops to sweet sugar-kelp reminiscent of dulse and smoked oysters, wet coastal forest, fresh fennel, and hazelnut.

Finish: The finish has lingering sweet oak, fresh ocean breeze, distant bonfire, and a hint of salt.

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