Tag Archive: Islay


Douglas Laing: Big Peat (Islay Blended Malt: No age statement: 46% ABV)

Visual: Very pale grain touch and with hint of brackish green.

Viscosity: Very slow thin puckering.

Nose: Lightly medicinal but clean. Salt and moss. Light alcohol air. Peat smoke. Water makes slightly harsher medicinal but cleaner alcohol with more moss.

Body: Beef. Vanilla and toffee. Light chocolate to praline notes. Salt. Crushed nuts. Peat. Light alcohol air. Water makes smooth – caramel and fudge notes. More water makes slight golden syrup.

Finish: Peat smoke. Smoked beef slices. Light cherries. Chocolate. Salt. Lightly medicinal. Nutty. Water makes more beefy and peaty.

Conclusion: The odd thing I find with vatted malts is that, unlike single malts or standard blended whisky, they often can work best without water. It is a miracle! I guess since they have more room to design the exact nature of the whisky it may be easier to get just the balance they want.

Anyway, that is to say, this is a good whisky with water, but best tried neat.

This is, well – not a simple whisky, but a fairly straightforward whisky if you get the difference. It seems very clean, but despite that a typical Islay style on the aroma. Not heavily done, smooth as vatted malts often are, but balances the peat, salt and medicinal notes.

The body is the biggest difference from an Islay single malt – it is very sweet for an Islay. Most Islay have some sweetness, but this has a thicker toffee, caramel or even fudge character depending on the level of water used, and behind that some chocolate notes mixed in there. A much more solid base in the sweetness. From that the peat, beef smoke and salt that the Island is famous for seem much more well contrasted and a smoother experience because of that.

So, why do I say it should be drunk with no water? Well, without water it feels more intense and – despite the alcohol being slightly noticeable – it still seems less harsh in the medicinal notes that with a little water. Now, if you add a lot of water, rather than a little water, then it gains the caramel character and becomes very smooth indeed in all things, however that comes at the cost of a lot of what you came here for – the peat. So, yep, without water is the way for me.

Now, on that note, for something call Big Peat it is, well, moderate peat on the Islay scale. So, not one in you want it super intense and peaty. However as a smooth, balanced, sweet and peaty whisky it is very good. So, not as super intense as the name suggests but that does not make it bad in any way at all.

Background: Had a few run ins with this one, first at a tasting session at Independent Spirit, then a Douglas Laing tasting at The Hideout. I never had my tasting note kit on me though,I was going for more social nights out at the time. So now, finally I get to do my notes as Independent Spirit kindly donated a measure of it for doing some notes on. Many thanks. This is an Islay vatted malt made with Ardbeg, Caol Ila, Bowmore and the closed distillery Port Ellen whisky! It was drunk while listening to some Meshuggah – hard music for heavy peat. Also drunk after watching some new Doctor Who, so in a generally good frame of mind. Also, because we are childish, at the first tasting note we were amused by the idea of having some of Big Peat in our mouth. Also we were drinking, which may explain it. Also that works better when said rather than written down.

Douglas Laing: Old Particular: Caol Ila: 20 Year (Scotland Islay Single Malt Whisky: 20 Years: 51.5% ABV)

Visual: Very pale greened grain.

Viscosity: Fast thick streaks.

Nose: Medicinal. Charcoal. Charred oak. Salt. Quite clean. Moss. Water is similar but smoother.

Body: Clean vanilla and caramel. Tinned tropical fruit. Tingling hint of alcohol. Water adds light custard. Cooked pork meaty notes. Oily and quite viscous. Light lemon.

Finish: Medicinal. Thick sheen. Oily. Slight tar. Mostly clean. Slight teacakes. Water doesn’t completely remove alcohol tingle.

Conclusion: This is a very clean Caol Ila. Very viscous as well in how it delivers the medicinal notes compared to the usual rather dry medicinal character of a lot of these. It really has a thickness to it, giving a thick sheen on your tongue rather than only evaporating to fill the mouth. It makes it a chewable medicinal style, with some, but not a vast amount of the Islay peat smoke coming in with it.

Flavour wise, while peat light, it lands smack solidly in the middle of what you would expect of a Caol Ila. Smooth vanilla and tropical fruit styling that I presume come from time spent in a bourbon cask – warming, with slight lemon notes and the expected salt character – it is not as unusual in flavour as it is in texture, but everything is done very smoothly indeed. So, the expected range, just polished beyond what you normally see.

It is not one that will convert people who weren’t fans of Caol Ila to begin with – but with the smoother character you find the vanilla and toffee being more present and offsetting the more medicinal notes – so it may tip someone on the fence over into liking it. Nothing is too hash, even the alcohol tingle feels more warming than burning – obviously its old age being put to good use. As long as you are not put off by Islay, then this is a smooth take on that, especially with water.

I have made this comparison before with other whiskies, but this does have small calls to Kiln Embers with its smoothness and salted lemon characteristics. This however is far more distinctively Islay and wears it more openly. A classic of Caol Ila, one that doesn’t break the style, but does it very well indeed.

Background: This is the final of the five whiskies had at Independent Spirit‘s latest Uber whisky night. This is an aged independent bottling of Caol Ila. I’m a big fan of all of Islay, and Caol Ila is definitely in the top 50% of them. Any more detailed than that is hard to call with the quality of the area. This should be an interesting one- while not the heaviest peated Islay, Caol Ila still has some character of it, and peat tends to vanish quickly with age. Should be fun. This is one of 316 bottlings for this release. Anyway, as always for these events – I was doing my notes in a social environment, with five strong whiskies back to back – my notes may be affected by other peoples thoughts, the drunkenness, and the other whisky I had. However, as before, for trying five expensive and rare whiskies like this I could hardly miss the chance to do some notes. Hope they are ok by you.

douglas-laing-old-particular-laphroaig-18-year

Douglas Laing: Old Particular: Laphroaig 18 Year (Scottish Islay Single Malt Whisky: 18 Year: 48.4% ABV)

Visual: Quite light grain gold.

Viscosity: Slow thin puckering.

Nose: Salted rocks. Peat. Medicinal. Dry. Ash. Salted lemon. Water adds ashtray style notes.

Body: Dry. Lemon juice. Vanilla. White grapes. Dry white wine. Salt. Peat. Water adds lemon cordial and wine gums. Slight oily and slight creamy character.

Finish: Lemon juice and dry salted lemons. Slight golden syrup. Cinder toffee. Water adds more lemon. Toffee. Even more water adds malt chocolate.

Conclusion: This is an odd mix of fresh squeezed lemon and dry salted lemons, all mixed up with a medicinal Laphroaig character. It is less harsh than the similar medicinal notes in a younger Laphroaig, but it still shows some of that pure salt behind the more mellow salted lemon character.

Nice as this is it doesn’t have the booming depth or intensity of the Quarter Cask – instead it makes a fresher, and somehow refreshing, yet intense character. The spirit is smooth – showing surprisingly little alcohol character and with that gives a show of an oily base and a slight creamy character that doesn’t seem to come out in other expressions I have tried. With water it becomes more creamy and slightly dessert like making it almost a medicinal lemon meringue of the Islay world. Another case of words I never thought I would type. I know the idea sounds horrible. It is not. This is actually pretty darn nice.

This is a strange expression – the lemon character reminds me of the unpopular Laphroaig Select – an ok whisky but one I tend to refer to as the lemonade of the Laphroaig world due to its lighter character and lack of a lot of what makes Laphroaig recognisable. This however does not sacrifice its fuller character as it brings in the smoothness and lemon flavours, making it far better than that weaker attempt. In fact this lays in the same area as the blended malt Kiln Embers – which is both a complement – as that is a very nice whisky – and a problem, as that was far cheaper than this expression. This is slightly better than Kiln Embers, but only just and for that slight bit extra it costs a lot more cash. So, depending on your cash flow, make your choice. Had as I did, I enjoyed it, but for grabbing a bottle – Kiln Embers is the one I would return to if you can still find it.

Background: One of 317 bottles this is a rare independent bottling, single cask Laphroaig expression and the final of the five whiskies had at the uber whisky tasting night at Independent Spirit. I am a huge Laphroaig fan, and you don’t see many bottlings of these guys so was looking forwards to this. My photo skills were pretty much gone by the time I took a photo of this glass – sorry – I blame alcohol. As before due to the social environ and number of whiskies tried at the event my notes may be less comprehensible than normal – I try my best.

bruichladdich-octomore-10-year2nd-release

Bruichladdich: Octomore: 10 Years(2nd Release) (Scottish Islay Single Malt Whisky: 10 Year: 57.3% ABV)

Visual: Dark gold.

Viscosity: Very fast thick streaks.

Nose: Smokey bacon. Lots of peat smoke. Slight salt. Smoked beef. Beef stew and pigs in blankets. Slight cherry pocked digestives.

Body: Honey. Huge peat. Lime. Dried beef. Slight cherries. Sauternes wine. Water adds peach and honey and makes much sweeter. Slight custard sweetness notes.

Finish: Alcohol tingle. Salt. Very medicinal. Slightly numbing. Honey. Peach syrup added with water.

Conclusion: This is so much sweeter than the younger Octomore! It still comes in with the heavy peat and medicinal style though, do not worry. As it has soothed a bit with age that now comes across as a massively meaty feast of a whisky – especially on the nose. Kind of a smoked meat (especially smoked bacon) fest, That aroma however does not hint at a lot of what is to come. In fact originally it comes across more smoked meat than even the other Octomores I have tried.

The body keeps the peaty character, but is much more honeyed, and has an almost Sauternes wine sweet character. It is so sweet and fruity under the heavy peat that it is less that smooth assault you might expect and is instead a much more complex yet still peaty beast. Without water the finish is very medicinal, again calling to its roots as a more harsh whisky, water again brings out that sweetness.

It is so unexpected – still meaty. Still peaty – but very much tamed by the newfound sweetness. Even slight custard sweetness over the salted Islay base. If you want sheer assault then this has moved away from that and you will be let down. If you want a big sweet Islay style peated whisky – well this is very good and still intense. The honey wine soaked meat feast peat whisky.

Background: Fourth whisky at the uber whisky tasting at Independent Spirit. I loved my previous experience with the Octomore so was very much looking forwards to trying this 10 year version. Now, while it is peated at 167 ppm, age tends to take away peat character quite quickly – so wasn’t quite sure how this would work out for intensity. Also this has been aged in both Bourbon and the more unusual Grenache Blac casks. One of 18,000 bottles – so fairly but not insanely rare. My whisky glass photos are getting a bit crap now – sorry – alcohol influence! As before due to the social event and the number of whiskies tried, by notes may not be as detailed as normal – nor it seems my photos. As always I tried my best.

that-boutique-y-whisky-company-laphroaig-12-year-old
That Boutique-y Whisky Company: Laphroaig 12 Year Old (Scottish Islay Single Malt Whisky: 12 Year: 52.4% ABV)

Visual: Pale clear and light, just slightly gold touched, spirit.

Viscosity: Slow thick streaks.

Nose: Quite creamy. Slight lemon. Orange crème. Butterscotch. Very light medicinal. Water makes slightly salty.

Body: Lightly salty. Some alcohol presence. Water makes creamier. Chocolate toffee eclair sweets. More medicinal and light custard sweetness. Light lemon meringue.

Finish: Dry peat intensity. Light grapefruit. Malt chocolate drinks. Water adds caramel and cream. Light lemon sorbet air. Light beef slices. Salted notes. Shredded wheat and honey.

Conclusion:An easy going Laphroaig? Kind of, yes, but with a sting in the tail. Spoiler – in a shock twist it is not the high alcohol level that gives the punch that provides the sting in the tail. In fact for the abv it is remarkably easy going, and while you only get a few of the notes neat, it only needs a tiny amount of water to start opening it up.

This is a mix of three definite, and distinct styles. There is the expected, though lighter than usual, medical, salty, salted rocks and such like notes that makes up the traditional Laphroaig elements- much more subtly used than normal though. The second string is a heavy twist on a note that can sometimes be seen in Laphroaig – lemon. Here it is far from normal – creamy, between lemon sorbet and lemon meringue, but now bringing light grapefruit and orange fruitiness that nigh unheard of from the distillery. It actually reminds me of traditional lemonade at times, that odd mix of flavours. Third and final is the chocolate caramel sweetness – there is normally a sweetness in Laphroaig backing everything but never as ramped up and thick as it is here.

Together it is only just recognisable as Laphroaig – until that sting in the tail – that being a peat punch pounding out in the finish; Finally stamping the Islay styling home.

Over time the more beefy, peaty notes rise up, more towards the standard ,expected notes- so by the end if feels like a more traditional expression, but enhanced by all that additional creaminess, sweetness and fruitiness.

Oft I have seen the expressions from the big Booming Islay distilleries mocked for the impression that they all taste the same. This shows this as the lie it is and slays the concept – this is recognisable, but different and delicious.

Background: After my last notes at the Hideout, I resolved to go back and try this. A rare independent Laphroaig bottling, with a cool Back To The Future inspired label. That Boutique-y Whisky Company always has cool, cartoon labelling which I dig. Apparently the people on the label are the winners of a contest. This is one of 421 bottles. While I do not control the music when in public, The Cranberries : Zombie came on while doing these notes, which was pretty nice.

hideout2

Ardbeg Perpetuum

Ardbeg: Perpetuum (Scottish Islay Single Malt Whisky: 47.4% ABV)

Visual: Pale gold.

Viscosity: Medium speed and thickness streaks.

Nose: Smoke. Oily fish skins. Intense. Swordfish steak. Creamy. Salt sea spray. Wet rocks. Light sherry trifle – especially sherry soaked sponge and brandy cream. Water adds floral and crushed grit notes.

Body: Warming. Noticeable alcohol. Rum and raisins. Brown bread. Beef broth. Peaty. Sherry trifle. Oily and creamy feel mix. Cream flavour notes. Water makes less alcohol, adds lime cordial and bigger peat. Orange crème, vanilla fudge and far more trifle come out.

Finish: Peat. Dry. Dried beef slices. Raisins sweetness. Trifle. Light cherries. Vanilla toffee. Cream. Malt drinks. Water adds lime, peppercorn, fudge pavlova, red wine and gentle spice.

Conclusion: Intense. Very intense. Creamy. Full on peat yet aged smoothness of character. Vanilla bourbon sweetness and sherry full on flavours. Damn. Just, damn. Normally peaty whisky is a trade off. The intenseness of the peat is a young whisky’s game, and fades with age. Smoothness is the character of distinguished age that young whisky cannot match. Mixing young and old spirit this manages to do both. I really sounded like a corporate shill there didn’t I? However, hell, it is true.

Neat it has all of the salt, medicinal character, peat and meat character you would expect of an Islay, especially an Ardbeg. The alcohol is warming and present but doesn’t get in the way of a smooth but intense Ardbeg expression. Here the bourbon sweetness leads with vanilla toffee and fudge notes, working alongside the intense style – however there are hints from the sherry on the side giving raisins and sherry trifle notes.

The use of water flips this around – much more smooth, beafy and peaty, but the sweet sherry trifle and spice take the floor for a richer, fuller, and more balanced take. More mellow, but still intense, with much more going on.

Of course, if then you want to flip it back to bourbon influence leading again, then you have to pour yourself another measure. Oh the pain. Then add water to sherry it up, then pour another shot to get the bourbon back, then… and so on as the infinite loop continues in perpetuity. Ok, that time I really did sound like a corporate shill.

Jokes aside, this is legitimately great – hits all the range of Islay – salt, beef, oil, peat – and all the character of an aged whisky in smoothness, bourbon and sherry character. One of the few whiskies that I can easily say is worth the best part of a hundred quid price tag.

Background: Special whisky time. This is one that I had been umming and ahhing about if I should get it for a while, the 200th anniversary bottling of Ardbeg, but it is a tad expensive. In the end it was got for me as a gift thus solving my dilemma. Many thanks indeed! It is a mix of old and young whisky, and a mix of bourbon and sherry ageing. It was released during Feis Ile 2015. I was trying to save it until after going to see The Libertine play at the theatre, it just seemed appropriate, but my willpower failed and I drank it a day early. Which kind of also was appropriate all things considered. Drunk while listening to Dethklok – Dethalbum 3. A big whisky deserves big music.

Lagavulin 8 Year

Lagavulin 8 Year (Scottish Islay Single Malt Whisky: 8 Year: 48% ABV)

Visual: Pale grain with a soft green brackishness.

Viscosity: Very slow, thin to medium thickness streaks.

Nose: Salty sea spray. Strong alcohol. Wet moss. Medicinal air. Water adds salted lemon.

Body: Medicinal. Salt. Strong alcohol. Traditional lemonade. Salty pebbles. Soft yet salted lemon. Water adds a slight golden syrup and more pebbles. More water adds mini marshmallows. Light strawberry and dark chocolate hints. Salted orange.

Finish: Dry. Medicinal spirit. Salted lemon. Dry charred beef bits. More lemon with water. Slight marshmallows. More water adds light malt drinks.

Conclusion: This reminds me in a way of Laphroaig select. A whisky I have not yet done tasting notes on here. So that is a helpful comparison. Let me explain then. They both have less of the distinct brute force that their older cousins have. They both are just slightly dry, but also that lighter character lets additional sweetness through.

For comparisons sake it is helpful that we nicknamed Laphroaig Select “Laphroaig Lemonade” after a whisky show attendant commented that it would be like lemonade for standard Laphroaig fans. Why is that appropriate? Because this younger interpretation, of the Lagavulin spirit has a very salted lemon characteristic to it that makes me think of traditional lemonade.

Do not fear, there is still a heap of Islay character – lots of salt, medicinal notes and wet pebbles and wet moss. Oddly it is missing a few of what I think of as defining Lagavulin characteristics. It lacks any of that thick, meaty character, and also goes very light on the peat smoke, to my surprise. It results in a much less chewy and more drying style to it.

What it gains is, when water is added, a lot of the notes which I presume are normally hidden behind the heavy Lagavulin character. There is subtle salted orange and even strawberry notes – and the extra strength of the whisky means there is a lot of room to explore with water for extra depths.

Don’t expect something too close to the standard Lagavulin 16 year and I think you will probably enjoy this one. It is very much its own thing – distinctly Islay, but not beholden to its older cousin. Initially I was disappointed by this because of my expectations, but I soon grew to enjoy it on its own charms, rather than what I expected it to be like. A very solid, fruity, lemony, Islay whisky.

Background: This one has been a long time coming, much to the annoyance of my mate Tony who had repeatedly asked me when I will pull my thumb out and actually break this one open. Well, today is the day! This is a special limited release to celebrate the 200th anniversary of Lagavulin, and as a huge Lagavulin fan I had to make sure I grabbed a bottle. So I did. From independent spirit. Again.

Smokehead Islay Single Malt Scotch Whisky

Smokehead: Islay Single Malt Scotch Whisky (Islay Single Malt Scottish Whisky:43% ABV)

Visual: Light gold.

Viscosity: Mostly slow thin streaks.

Nose: Smoked beef and peppercorn. The aroma can be detected at massive distance. Medicinal notes. Dumplings and beef broth. Barley. Lots of smoke. Touch of honey. Water dries and brings out slightly harsher notes.

Body: Smooth. Golden syrup and vanilla. Massive peat and smoke. Light charring. Vanilla custard slices. Light medicinal notes and noticeable alcohol. Icing. Toffee. Light cherries. Water mutes alcohol, brings out raisins, Madeira and sherry trifle. More fruity.

Finish: Honey. Charred notes. Barbecued beef. Icing sugar. Vanilla custard. Seaweed. Water brings out Madeira cake, light rum spice, and sherry trifle.

Conclusion: It is often overlooked how sweet Islay whisky can be. They are well known for hitting hard and fast with big notes – here that is definitely true with smoked beef, peat smoke and peppercorn. There is small medicinal notes, but not heavily on that side – this leans much more on the smoke side of things, also eschewing the salted character than an Islay can have to concentrate more on the smoke.

The thing is, if you are used to those strong flavours then you realise that there is huge golden syrup and vanilla custard sweetness behind the smoke. The massive notes are a significant contrast which makes for a surprisingly smooth yet intense whisky. Frankly, even without water this is very easy to recommend.

Water refines it even more, it drops the few alcohol notes and brings out what I would guess to be the sherry barrel ageing influence. There is cherries and raisins, lightly spicy and sherry trifle notes – it goes from nearly no sherry influence to being dominated by it in a heartbeat. It is like two whiskies in one.

So, at any price point this is excellent – peat juice delivered against a vanilla sweet backdrop or sherry trifle sweetness – smooth, intense and delicious. At the 35 to 40 quid mark it often goes for? This is an absolute steal. A great value Islay whisky showing that the words “Great value” don’t have to be damning with faint praise.

Background: I tried the 18 year Smokehead a while back, but realised I had never done notes on the standard bottling – so here it is. Grabbed from Independent Spirit and drunk while listening to David Bowie’s haunting final album.

Caol Ila 12 Year

Caol Ila: 12 Year ( Scottish Islay Single Malt Whisky: 12 Year: 43% ABV)

Visual: Quite pale grain to gold.

Viscosity: Moderate to fast speed streaks of moderate to thick size.

Nose: Kippers. Smoke. Slightly oily. Coal dust. More coal dust with water.

Body: Vanilla. Coal dust. Peat. Beef broth. Salt and light medicinal. Toffee. Lightly creamy. Orange crème. Malt chocolate. Water accentuates toffee, adds slight black cherry hints, and brings out chocolate toffee. Also light watered down tar, and hints of turkey slices.

Finish: Soft cream and coal dust. Toffee. Salt. Water adds chocolate toffee and light oily character with tarry notes.

Conclusion: Caol Ila 12! The whisky that I have many times joked about never getting round to doing notes for, finally tasting notes. To no-ones surprise at all I love it. This is a great match of the harsher elements of Islay – for example the coal dust and the salt – with a thick, sweet melted toffee and chocolate base, all infused with a slight oily, tarry, set of notes which seem to come from the mixing of the two extremes.

I think that oiliness is really what gives it a distinct character to stand out from the other Islays – kind of kipper like on the lighter edge, tarry on the lower end. The whisky is always smooth, but it has a thickness that clings so that the present but not overly intense medicinal and smoke character pushes through more obviously than it otherwise would.

Or at least it is with touches of water. Yes, I skipped straight to talking about it with water. Sorry. Enthusiasm getting away with me. Anyway, neat it is more pure coal dust and smoke in the set of notes it shows – Still not to the intensity of Ardbeg or Laphroaig but still more single minded. The water breaks that up and allows the subtleties to show.

I think what makes this stand out is that, while the base sweetness is toffee, it is done with such weight that it is more chocolate toffee than anything else, which is very appropriate to match the notes it has. For comparison, Laphroaig is more intense, very medicinal, but matches that with a clean sweetness. This indulges the darker notes, whether they be sweet or harsh, and gives this balanced, more dark character throughout.

So, yeah, I finally did tasting notes and this is lovely.

Background: *ahem* “Ok, bias warning first: This is a part of the Masters Of Malt Whisky Calendar given to The Bath Whisky and Rum Club, part of Independent Spirit, who invited me to assist with the notes in return for uploading them to alcohol and aphorisms. Sounded a very fair deal to me. Also, due to this we each only had half of the 3cl bottle so thoughts are based on a smaller exploration than usual. On the other hand I could not say no to the chance to try so many new whiskies. Many thanks!”. I love Caol ila, and have tried many expressions, yet never got around to doing notes on this. So, when it turned up in the calendar I was happy as Larry. Presuming Larry is happy right now that is. Drunk while listing to some Godspeed You! Black Emperor. Serious whisky needs serious music.

Kilchoman Machir Bay 2014

Kilchoman: Machir Bay 2014 (Scottish Islay Single Malt Whisky: 46% ABV)

Visual: Very pale greened grain.

Viscosity: No notes taken.

Nose: Dry. Smoke. Salt. Astringent. Rocks. Crusty bread. Salted lemon.

Body: Initially light. Vanilla sweetness. Salt. Moss. Slight raisins. Smoked beef. Sherry cream. Slight alcohol tingle if taken neat. Water makes more toffee and sherry sweet and brings out salted lemons.

Finish: Slight sherry trifle. Dry medicinal notes. Vanilla sweetness. Brown bread. Smoke. More trifle with water and adds salted lemon.

Conclusion: Ok, I may just be tasting salted lemons in everything since drinking Kiln Embers. Keep that in mind whilst reading these notes. Aside from that note let me say this is an interesting wee whisky. Unlike the 2007 expression it needs a touch of water to work, not much, just a drop or two, but it is still just a little fiery neat.

Despite that it feels light, not in a bad way, but in that – while salty and lightly medicinal, it does not have that booming character of the more prominent Islays. This allows more subtle elements to be there – the sherry trifle, salted lemon and vanilla toffee don’t need to be loud to be heard in the mix. Again, this is with just a slight amount of water that really lets it open up.

Initially it seemed a slightly simple, lightly medicinal whisky, but as the sweetness came out it started to portray distinct elements from both the sherry and bourbon ageing and I realised there was more to this than meets the eye. It does not eschew the traditional Islay character, but it more uses it to call the sweetness into contrast.

Not what I expected, a very easy drinking Islay that manages to keep the Islay character. Very nice. You know, I kind of hope there is at least one bad whisky in this set. Not because I want bad whisky, but at this rate everyone is going to be claiming I am a paid shill. Anyway, the whisky calendar is doing well so far.

Background: Ok, (mostly) copy paste time again. ” Ok, bias warning first: This is a part of the Masters Of Malt Whisky Calendar given to The Bath Whisky and Rum Club, part of Independent Spirit, who invited me to assist with the notes in return for uploading them to alcohol and aphorisms. Sounded a very fair deal to me. Also, due to this we each only had half of the 3cl bottle so thoughts are based on a smaller exploration than usual. On the other hand I could not say no to the chance to try so many new whiskies. Many thanks!” New info! Ok, from my research this is a mix of five and six year old whisky from oloroso sherry and bourbon cask, which is unusual for Kilchoman. And by research I mean that is pretty much copied directly from their website. Sorry. Drunk while listening to even more Crossfaith. Yes I did do this set of notes immediately after the last, why do you ask?

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