[Review] Mac-Talla - Mara 58.2%


Back to Islay today with a recent release from Morrison Distillers, the Mac-Talla Mara. After a bit of a revamp in their range, Morrison distillers portfolio grew with the introduction of the Mac-Talla brand with three releases so far in the range, the Terra (‘earth’) bottled at 46%, the Mara (‘sea’) bottled at the cask strength of 58.2%, and the brand new Strata (15 years old, 46% with a mix of bourbon and sherry casks) 

Mac-Talla means ‘echo’ in Scottish Gaelic and it focuses on Islay single malts, renewing the link the Morrison family have had with the island for generations. The shape of the label used on both the Terra and the Mara also echo the old ferry tickets on the way to Islay.

But for now, let’s focus on the bottle of Mara.

From what I know about the whisky, it is between 4 and 15 years old with mainly 6/7/8 years old at its core. It is peated to 23/25 ppm and was aged exclusively in ex-bourbon cask. Like with the rest of the range, it is uncoloured and unchillfiltered.

My tasting notes:


Salty citrus, green pear, smoky ham, briny, vanilla sweetness, malty biscuits and black pepper.


Smoke, slight tar, barbecued meat, earthy, salty, seaweed with some mineral and slight coriander notes. There’s also some sweetness in there with lime and vanilla. Delicious!


Charred/smoky notes, bonfire, maritime and sweet again, and still some fruity and herby elements too.

With water:

More sweetness and some floral hints on the nose. Sweeter palate too with more vanilla. Woody bonfire smoke finish.

This is a fantastic drop if you’re into your peated malt. I also think that for less than £50 it is very decent value for money!

As far as the origin of this malt is concerned, I would have definitely gone towards North-East Islay, with Caol Ila being top of the list for both this Mara but also the Terra...

Slàinte all!

This bottle was sent to me for free by the guys at Mac-Talla, and I thank them again for it!


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