Named after a legendary Glasgow-based whisky maker from the 19th century, MacNair’s Lum Reek is a line of peated blended malts in the portfolio of The GlenAllachie Distillery. It encompasses three expressions: NAS, 12 Years Old and 21 Years Old. Each of these whiskies is composed from carefully sourced Speyside and Islay malts. Whereas the concrete compositions of the three expressions are a well-guarded secret, one component is clear: they all contain a proportion of The GlenAllachie. As for the used casks, these differ from version to version. All in all, the mastermind behind it – Billy Walker – used 1st-fill ex-bourbon barrels, red wine casks, virgin oak casks and sherry casks (PX and Oloroso). If you want to find out more about how the Lum Reek whiskies smell and taste, go on and read my tasting notes. And if you want to learn how they came to be, check out the insightful article “Why you shouldn’t overlook blended malts” on The GlenAllachie’s website!
MacNair’s Lum Reek NAS
(Blended Malt Scotch Whisky • Speyside & Islay • NAS • 46%)
The standard bottling of MacNair’s Lum Reek comes without an age statement – but with a shovelful of peat. It is easily the strongest and smokiest member of the trio. Yet, it also shows even temper and refinement. In the nose, it has a lot of wet, earthy, heavy peat. Plus mushy apples, black pepper and a splash of buttermilk. Underneath these smells, I could also make out charred forest wood and dried autumn leaves. And a very fine sweetness that is only noticable when you really concentrate. In the mouth, this blended malt Scotch whisky is pretty punchy. But it also has a gentle streak and a nice balance. Again, the peat is strong and heavy – and now also somewhat ashy. The sweet notes gain more weight at this point. They appear in the form of marzipan, honey and treacle. Further flavors include gritty oat biscuits and spiced gingerbread. The NAS version of MacNair’s Lum Reek ends with a good finale of considerable length. It emphasizes on sweet tobacco puff, raisin-stuffed pastry, crumbly toffee and shiny candy apples. My verdict: This is some damn good stuff – especially for a peat freak like me. It is nicely layered, well composed and jam-packed with great aromas and flavors! In my opinion, it offers quite a bit more than one might expect from an NAS expression for under 40 quid!
MacNair’s Lum Reek 12 Years Old
(Blended Malt Scotch Whisky • Speyside & Islay • 12yo • 46%)
Now that is a surprise: The 12 Years Old expression of The GlenAllachie’s blended malt brand MacNair’s Lum Reek is nowhere near as punchy and peaty as its NAS counterpart. Instead, it opens with a rather soft yet well-defined nose. A deep sniff reveals fine notes of honey, nuts, wood, cloth and spice – all harmonized nicely with each other. These scents are underpinned by mild fruits. And around all, there is a fragile shroud of dry, ashen smoke. The taste is rich with maple syrup, apple puree, oat cookies, orange sticks, camomile tea and After Eight-flavored ice cream. The whole thing feels a tad waxy in the mouth – and it is a wee bit smoky, too (but not as much as I had originally thought). At this point, the whisky had already won me over with its lean stature and eclectic character. Yet, it went on to produce one more ace from its sleeve: the finish! MacNair’s Lum Reek 12yo goes down the throat like liquid silk. It leaves behind a fine array of delish flavors: toffee crumble, vanilla pudding (slightly burned) and chimney wood. Plus some earthy and mineral notes that make the overall sensation even more fun and exciting!
MacNair’s Lum Reek 21 Years Old
(Blended Malt Scotch Whisky • Speyside & Islay • 21yo • 46%)
The 21 Years Old is the pinnacle of the Lum Reek line. It is a masterfully designed dram that caresses the nostrils with the sweet, elegant aromas of scented candles, curduroy cushions and sizzling twigs. These notes appear together with sticky toffee, soft apricots and red berries bathed in warm milk. Character-wise, the bouquet is more on the dry side. In regard to its mouthfeel and flavors, the whisky is a real stunner. It is very round and soft. And again somewhat dry-ish. It offers yellow pulms, beeswax, noisette creme, carrot cake, apple juice and lemon grass; all encapsulated in a thin cloud of perfumed smoke. The satisfying finale has a lengthy duration. The spirit becomes fruitier at this point. I taste red berries with lots of icing sugar alongside pears, cereals, chocolate, honey and whipped cream. To me, MacNair’s Lum Reek 21 Years Old is a great example of why blended malts are such astonishing creation. Master blender Billy Walker and his team have taken a fine assortment of differing malts and mingled them in an all-new way, forming a top-class dram with a character and appeal of its own. Check it out – you willl be amazed!
Lum Reek NAS (Blended Malt / Scotland / NAS / Var. cask types / 46% / ~35 Euro)
Lum Reek 12 Years Old (Blended Malt / Scotland / 12yo / Var. cask types / 46% / ~40 Euro)
Lum Reek 21 Years Old (Blended Malt / Scotland / 21yo / Var. cask types / 46% / ~120 Euro)
*** Whisky samples kindly provided by The GlenAllachie. Thank you. ***