formerly Transcendental dram
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Mac Na Mara – Unchillfiltered Rum Finish

Full disclosure: I’ve got a soft spot for new blended whiskies on the LCBO shelves and an interest in novel cask finishes. It should then come as no surprise that my eye was caught by the words: “Unchillfiltered” and “Rum Finish” in bold red lettering on Praban na Linne’s Mac Na Mara Rum Finish. This blended whisky was first matured in ex-bourbon casks before being finished in Guyanese rum casks and is bottled at 40% ABV.

Pondering the bottle, I recalled my past favourable experiences with the rest of the Praban na Linne “Gaelic Whiskies” range: Té Bheag and Poit Dhubh; I had to give it a shot.

Nose: Toasted and malty aromas commingle with a sweet punchy hit of alcohol. Light citrus and grainy notes follow quickly behind.

Palate: Very approachable and sweet with flavours of molasses, mincemeat and raisins. With time, a fudgy bitter-sweet malty chocolate note develops akin to Tootsie Rolls. Light, to medium-bodied, the slightly oily dram has a gentle spicy heat featuring dashes of ginger and nutmeg atop a slight pepperiness that provide a nice balance to the dark, sugary tones.
Finish: A long, spicy and mouth-watering finish rolls along for quite a stretch, evolving alongside rich flavours of roasted malt and dark stewed fruit.

Overall: For $33.95 this is a well-priced, well-made blended whisky most suitable for a dessert course or to be enjoyed after dinner. True, there’s not much on the nose, the flavours are straight-forward and geared to those with a sweet tooth, but there’s no denying that this quality blend offers a novel and non-chillfiltered experience. There are only a handful of bottles left in Ontario and like-minded fans of blends would do well to pick one up should the occasion present itself.
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