If I may wax in a Gourmand philosophical manner (which is normal in an entire subreddit on long aged spirits that have very little nutritional value), knowing your tastebuds is an ongoing practice in patience. You have to drink a lot of bad bath water before you get to the Crystal.
The same can be said for each distillery. I’m not a fan of Macallan offerings, however the Cask Strength is very good. /u/biomortis may not like peaty offerings, however he still reviews them to give us a different point of view and because eventually someone will un-fuck up a peat whisky (for him, I love them). /u/Dworgi has issues with bitterness (as do I), yet we can still have something with some bitterness if it’s balanced.
In this case, I’ll be having the Caol Ila Moch. “But TOModera, you love Caol Ila you silly goose!” you say. Oh, I do, however this is the lighter, dawn inspired launch from Caol Ila, which is aged for 4 years less than the 12 year, and thus has a more subtle, light flavour.
I am anything but subtle in what I drink, so one would wonder why I bought this (certainly not because I didn’t read about it before hand….). However it’s always a good idea to expand your horizons, and no everything needs to follow what you know you’ll enjoy. We’re aren’t insects, after all, we are able to branch out.
Price: N/A in Ontario
Colour: Sauvignon Blanc
Nose: Peat, lemon, medicine, pot-pourri, iodine, chocolate
There’s a lot less smell to this one. I let it sit for awhile, staring at it, willing it to give me something different or interesting from a young whisky (seriously, I didn’t know it was more subtle when I bought it).
Taste: Pepper, lemon, caramel, rock candy, salt water taffy, lemon pepper, peach
There’s the usual flavours to Caol Ila are all present, though the volume has been turned down. I double checked the mini to ensure I didn’t just buy Caol Ila 12 and accidentally mixed in some water. Nope, I am not in fact blacking out and turning Tyler Durden on my whisky.
Finish: Salt water, jalapeno, lemon tart, peppery, little earth
Faint, faint ending with some burn and a little bit of pocket sand for my trouble.
Did I start a Fight Club accidentally? I gotta cut back on the drink.
Conclusion: I am Jack’s disappointed Glencairn glass. It’s a muted version of Caol Ila 12. Buy it if you’re curious or find the 12 too strong, but otherwise, no real need to pick this up. I had trouble scoring this, because while it has the tastes I enjoy in Caol Ila 12 year, it’s too muted, and thus take my score with a grain of salt.
Scotch review #97, Islay review #29, Whisky Network review #124