Dram Review: Samaroli Ferry to Islay First Edition

[55.1%・NAS・Bottled in 2014・Coilltean Bottling・Limited Release of 300 Bottles]


A generous wave of salty oceanic aromas, oysters and seaweed with that creme brûlée note from fresh bourbon casks.  The peat is understated but serves to accentuate the maritime influence.  Light top notes of baby powder stringing out the natural characters of the spirits elegantly, with the smoke and iodine in particular becoming bolder in time.

Palate & Finish:

The strength sets the dram apart from its peers, because it still retains the gentle mouthfeel of an Italian Scotch.  Light apple vinegar with some waxiness, a touch of apple honey collides with a splash of ground black pepper giving rise to ample of gingery spice, the heat steadily and surely provides a warming sensation infused with hints of lemon honey, blackcurrants and blackberries before giving way to a medicinal bitterness, think crushed pills.

Smoked haddock, dried seafood and burnt toast gradually make it to the surface, with the slightly tarry note staying on for a long while.


A vat of malts from Bunahabhain, Caol Ila and Laphroaig.  Though the back of the label reads “a great peaty whisky, typically Samaroli!”, there is a certain youth that is encapsulated in the dram, despite some traits that feel familiar.  It’s almost as if the student is paying homage to the maestro but at the same time he is exhilarated to finally impart his own vision.

And that is perhaps a sign of greatness to come for A. W. B. ..