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A storming Caol Ila with a delightfully light, elegant style and gently phenolic, creamy lemon flavours. We absolutely adored this, and think it'll be one of 2011's biggest hits.Tasting Notes (1)
Tasting Notes by Tim F
Textbook Caol Ila lemon zest, but creamier & less assertive than I remember the 12yo. A few youngish notes that disperse quickly. Honey and cream soda. Some grassy notes & fresh hay. A biscuity note. Faint smoke, but nothing scary. In short: Lemon meringue pie. Not mind-blowingly complex, but that’s not what we’re looking for here, and it’s certainly very pleasant and inviting. This reminds me a lot of a younger, toned-down version of Port Askaig 17yo. For some reason.
Medium-bodied. Slides across the tongue like an oilslick (the good kind of oilslick, I mean). And then the peat hits. Smoky phenols from out of nowhere. This is much better now, with a hot-buttered-toasty soot and woodsmoke character. These phenols take root on the palate, which seems drying, yet somehow retains the soft, silky mouthfeel and the creamy lemon sherbertiness even in the midst of the bonfire. A very clever trick. A lesson in balance – not rough enough to be too challenging, but certainly retaining plenty of oomph and youthful vigour to be refreshing and very more-ish.
The smoke and soot linger, and the overall finish is longer than expected for a young whisky. A dryness at the death demands the glass be refilled.
A hugely enjoyable romp through Islay’s middle ground. Moch is the whisky that Ardbeg Blasda should have been. Where Blasda fell down was in sacrificing both strength and peatiness – Moch, at 43%, is a sensible strength for a whisky of this comparative youth, and is certainly softer and more approachable than the 12yo, without ever becoming too beige and boring.
Most importantly, they’ve kept the smoky bite that a young Islay whisky needs (and the nerds demand), as well as the balancing honeyed sweetness that makes this a genuinely pleasurable drinking whisky.
More from Caol Ila
Caol Ila 12 Year OldSmall Bottle
(£7.48 per 10cl)
Caol Ila 12 Year Old
(£64.21 per litre)
Caol Ila 13 Year OldSmoky G&M Discovery Range
(£69.93 per litre)
Caol Ila 20128 Year Old Provenance
(£77.79 per litre)
Caol Ila Moch
(£68.50 per litre)
Caol Ila 201010 Year Old Provenance
(£80.36 per litre)
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