The Aerolite Lyndsay is an award-winning single malt that is sourced and bottled by The Character of Islay Whisky Company. It is bottled at 10 years of age and is from an un-named distillery on the famous Scottish whisky island of Islay. The whisky has been created from a marriage of cask types - this is said to be 70% ex-bourbon barrels, 25% Spanish oak ex-sherry quarter casks and 5% 'mystery casks'. No clues given as to what the mystery aspect may be. Also, the name is an anagram of 'ten year old Islay' in case you are wondering. The Aerolite Lyndsay 10 years old is bottled at 46% ABV and is non chill-filtered and of natural colour. It is available from selected specialist whisky retailers and costs around the £45 mark.
Our tasting notes
The colour is a very pale lemon yellow and the nose presents an immediate hit of smoky and sweet aromas - think of honey and caramel combined with charcoal ash, damp earth and a prickle of white pepper. Underneath are further aromas of malty cereals, fresh green apple, milk chocolate and with a whiff of dried seaweed and brine.
On the palate this whisky has hot and peppery peat smoke up front. This has an ashy and ember-like charcoal feel to it with a hint of medicinal iodine, seaweed and moss to it. Then comes a super charged sweetness that has elements of maple syrup, heather honey and tinned pineapple. Sounds like an odd combination, but it works. There is also an underlying maltiness and it is this cereal note that becomes more influential with time. The malt is backed up by further savoury notes in the form of straw, plus hints of bitter chocolate, menthol and liquorice root. A final twist of lemon zest adds extra zing.
The finish is a touch on the short side and quickly becomes very malty and dry. The sweeter notes fade and this allows the peat smoke and cereals to take hold. The smoke has an ashy, almost sooty quality that adds to the dryness.
What's the verdict?
The Aerolite Lyndsay 10 years old is a good Islay single malt and one that may be a choice to introduce a new whisky drinker or non whisky drinking friend to the concept of peat smoke. It has smoke and peat but not to the levels that some may expect, making it almost an 'Islay Lite'.
However, we quite like that and it makes the whisky very approachable as a result. The vibrant sugary and slightly confected sweetness creates balance, leading us to conclude that the 'mystery casks' may be something like ex-red wine barrels. We also like the slightly retro branding, although the price seems a touch high compared to similar products on the market.