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Master of Malt Blog

Tag: Caol Ila

A journey through whisky flavour

Last week we were looking at whisky through the prism of geography, whereas this week is all about flavour examining seven great whiskies by how they taste. So settle back…

Last week we were looking at whisky through the prism of geography, whereas this week is all about flavour examining seven great whiskies by how they taste. So settle back with your glass as we take a journey through whisky flavour.

It’s becoming quite the thing for whisky bars to group their menus by flavour rather than geography. Which makes a lot of sense. The peating level of the barley, fermentation times, still shapes and cask types all have far more effect on how a whisky is made than where it is distilled. You can find smoky whiskies on Speyside and fruity, unpeated whiskies from Islay.

So this week, we’re throwing away the map, (reluctantly) putting away our Roger Moore style safari suit and cleaning our Glencairns, because it’s all about flavour. The boffins at MoM have come up with four categories to describe the flavour of what’s in your glass: Fruity & Sweet, Rich & Smoky, Light & Smoky, Rich & Spicy and last but not least, Light & Floral.

Let’s take a journey through whisky flavour

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Fruity & Sweet- The Glenlivet 15 Year Old French Oak Reserve 

If you like your whisky fruity and sweet, then there’s no single malt sweeter or fruitier than The Glenlivet. This legendary Speyside distillery is famous for the elegance of its whiskies and in this it is enhanced by a finishing period in Limousin oak, the kind of oak used to age Cognac. The result is a dram full of sweet fudge and spice notes with plenty of cooked apple fruity notes.

Further whiskies to explore:

Port casks up the red fruit quotient in the Dalmore Port Wood Reserve while the Benromach 10 Year Old meld rich bourbon and sherry casks notes with a whisper of smoke. Meanwhile, Compass Box Orchard House blends distilleries including Clynelish, Linkwood, and Benrinnes into a fruit-laden treat for the senses. 

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Rich & Smoky – Seaweed & Aeons & Digging & Fire & Sherry Casks & Cask Strength 10 Year Old (Batch 02) 

Single malts don’t get any richer and smokier than this whisky from an undisclosed Islay distillery. The name is a bit of a giveaway. It combines all the smoke and medicinal notes you’d want in a classic Islay malt but with layers of fruitcake and fudge from sherry cask ageing. Plus it’s bottled at cask strength 55.3% ABV for a dram you won’t forget in a hurry.

Further whiskies to explore

Here’s another whisky whose name is self-explanatory, Smokehead , and like the Seaweed etc. it’s from an undisclosed Islay distillery. If you like it rich and smoky, then you’ll love this. Or try the awesome Big Peat from Douglas Laing.

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Rich & Spicy – FEW Rye Whiskey

We’re heading over to Illinois, America for our next dram. Made by FEW distillers it will appeal to people who love a bold spicy whisky. It’s made with a high rye mashbill combined with corn and malted barley, before ageing in good old American oak. As well as more spices than a spice market in Mumbai there are lashings of rich fruit like apples, pears and plums. Delicious neat or in a Manhattan. 

Further whiskies to explore

And talking of spice markets, if you want to explore the wide world of spicy whisky then you could do a lot worse than try Amrut Fusion, a single malt from India. Or head to the Finland for the 47.2% ABV Kyrö Malt Rye

Light & Smoky_whisky

Light & Smoky – Coal Ila 12

Just to show that Islay whiskies don’t have to be massive, have a sip of the delicious Caol Ila 12 Year Old. Yes, there’s smoke a-plenty with smoked ham, cigars, wood smoke and sea air, but it’s all rather restrained and balanced by fresh notes of lemon peel and peppermint. Perhaps because most of its output goes into blends like Johnnie Walker, Caol Ila doesn’t get the kudos of other Islay distilleries but this delightful 12 year old will make you think again.

Further whiskies to explore

Peated Speyside whiskies tend to be dramatically less smoky than their island cousins. If you want to see what we mean, try the Benriach Smoky Ten or Glenturret 10 Year Old Peat Smoked.

Light & Floral whisky

Light & Floral – Hakushu Single Malt Whisky – Distiller’s Reserve

From the Hakushu in the foothills of Mount Kaikomagatake comes their Distiller’s Reserve single malt whisky, a no-age-statement expression, that captures the floral herbaceous character of the distillery. It’s made with lightly-peated malts for a complex and deeply enjoyable whisky. The herbs are very upfront with this one with peppermint, pine and pleasant grassy notes with citrus zest and a waft of smoke. 

Further whiskies to explore

Glenkinchie 12 Year Old is another whisky that probably doesn’t get the attention it deserves but with its grass and honey profile is pretty much the definition of an irresistible Lowland single malt. Or head to the Highlands for the Dalwhinnie 15 Year Old.

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New Arrival of the Week: Douglas Laing Old Particular Master of Malt exclusives

We’re doing things a little differently this week because we’re highlighting four New Arrivals, independently-bottled rare whiskies from Caol Ila, Benrinnes, Bunnahabhain and Teaninich. So let’s give a big welcome…

We’re doing things a little differently this week because we’re highlighting four New Arrivals, independently-bottled rare whiskies from Caol Ila, Benrinnes, Bunnahabhain and Teaninich. So let’s give a big welcome to four Douglas Laing Old Particular whiskies – and they’re exclusive to Master of Malt. 

We’ve teamed up with one of our favourite independent bottlers, Douglas Laing, to bring you a cornucopia of rare single malts. And they’re only available from Master of Malt. Douglas Laing is a family-run business based in Glasgow which has been sniffing out rare malts for over 70 years. They’re the people behind delicious labels like Timorous Beastie, Scallywag, and Big Peat. In 2019, the family moved into the distillation business with the purchase of Strathearn distillery in Perthshire, and work on the Clutha distillery in Glasgow is ongoing. 

But back to those Master of Malt exclusives. They’re all single cask and cask strength single malts from Douglas Laing’s Old Particular range which shouldn’t be mixed up with Old Peculier which is a beer from Theakstons in Yorkshire. And very nice it is too, especially with a dram on the side.

Douglas Laing Cara Laing

Cara Laing, third-generation whisky merchant

Right without further ado, this is what we’ve landed:

Caol Ila Old Particular

Caol Ila 11 Year Old 2011 (cask 15555)

Caol Ila is seen as something of a workhorse perhaps because it’s the biggest but certainly not the prettiest distillery on Islay. It produces around 6.5 million litres of pure alcohol per year, most of which goes into blends. Single malt bottlings, however, are always worth trying and can be very special, like this one. It was distilled in January 2011 and then spent that last 11 years in a refill sherry butt. Only 314 bottles were filled at 58.1% ABV.

Tasting note from the Chaps at Master of Malt

Nose: Classically coastal with chalky grist, salty spray, peat, and tar.

Palate: Mouth-coating, oily malt leads the way for a hefty hit of spice. Medicinal peat smoke with smouldering embers and earthy ash are lifted by a touch of seaweed and lemon zest.

Finish: Drying charcoal, yet more seaside bonfire character with sooty salinity and wood smoke. Dried fruits, cinnamon, and mixed spice bring zesty, peppery warmth.

Teaninich Old Particular Douglas Laing

Teaninich 12 Year Old 2009 (cask 15437)

It’s another Diageo sleeping giant. Teaninich, located in the Highlands by Cromarty Forth, is one of the largest malt distilleries in Scotland producing over 10 million litres of pure alcohol per year. Most of this is needed for the Johnnie Walker Red label but occasionally single malt bottlings sneak out. Like this one which was distilled June 2009, aged in a refill hogshead and bottled in January 2022. Only 333 bottles were filled at 53% ABV.

Tasting Note by The Chaps at Master of Malt

Nose: Nutty barley, fresh bread, and toasted woodchips with zesty wafts of lemon peel. Grassy hay rests beneath, though burnt caramel keeps things sweet.

Palate: Biscuity malt and earthy wafts of smoky black tea. Fruit cake spice builds, with creamy fudge balancing faint murmurs of peat.

Finish: Candied fruits and clove-studded linger alongside subtle peat smoke and crunchy ginger biscuits

OP FAF Benrinnes Old Particular Douglas Laing

Benrinnes 15 Year Old 2006 (cask 15419)

A final whisky from the Diageo stable, this time from Speyside’s Benrinnes. Until 2007, this distillery used a partial triple distillation process which you can read about here. This Master of Malt exclusive was distilled in 2006, so would have used this unusual technique. It spent 15 years in a refill hogshead before bottling 2022 at 51.1% ABV. 294 bottles are available. 

Tasting Note by The Chaps at Master of Malt

Nose: Wafts of sourdough, with sweet, creamy barley lead the way to buttery oak and cask char. Delicately floral stone fruits and earthen vanilla balance a touch of pepper.

Palate: The creaminess continues on the palate with sweet shortbread, apple tart, and vanilla custard. Fresher notes of pressed apple, biscuity malt, and baked goods linger, with underlying hints of vegetal oak.

Finish: Sugar dusted pastry, almond, raisin, and yet more vanilla. Butterscotch softens a pinch of nutmeg and herbal, peppery spice.

Bunnahabhain Old Particular Douglas Laing

Bunnahabhain 15 Year Old 2006 (cask 15474) 

And finally, one that is sure to be of interest to Master of Malt customers as we know how much you love whisky from Bunnahabhain on Islay. This particular cask, a refill barrel, was filled in June 2006. It was left undisturbed until 2022 when it was awoken and bottled by Douglas Laing at 52.5% ABV. There are only 145 bottles in existence so, according to Cara Laing, it is “likely to be sought after.”

Tasting Note by The Chaps at Master of Malt

Nose: Brimming with vanilla, buttered brioche, honeyed cereal, and charred oak.

Palate: Caramel flapjack, earthy notes of creamy vanilla, nutty barley, and baked walnut. Hints of liquorice and honey bring sweet balance to subtle wafts of smoky bonfire embers.

Finish: Smoke lingers faintly in the distance, crumbly chocolate biscuits and butterscotch continue with soft spice.

These are all limited edition whiskies so once they’re gone, they are gone. 

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Single cask Master of Malt exclusives have landed!

Just landed at MoM Towers, some bottles that you can’t find anywhere else. We have offerings from Caol Ila, Glenfarclas, Glenallachie and, heading over to America, Smooth Ambler. These are…

Just landed at MoM Towers, some bottles that you can’t find anywhere else. We have offerings from Caol Ila, Glenfarclas, Glenallachie and, heading over to America, Smooth Ambler. These are all single cask bottlings and did we mention they are Master of Malt-exclusives?

The thing that gets our buying team really excited is the chance to get hold of whisky that nobody else can and selling it to Master of Malt customers. They spend their lives hunting out rare casks that have that extra-special magic.

And now, just in time for Christmas, they’ve landed a quartet of splendid single cask bottlings: one from Islay, two from Speyside, and a bourbon from the US.

And they are all Master of Malt exclusives.

Caol Ila 9 Year Old (James Eadie)

In contrast to its neighbours, Bowmore and Bunnahabhain, Caol Ila keeps a low profile. It produces a lot of whisky but most of its production goes into blends like Johnnie Walker Black Label. Nevertheless, its Islay single malts are usually excellent and much-prized by independent bottlers.

This comes from independent bottler James Eadie, a recently-revived name from the 19th century. It was distilled in 2011 and aged in a re-charred hogshead. It was bottled in 2021 exclusively for Drinks by the Dram at cask strength, 57.6% ABV. Only 276 bottles are available.

How does it taste?

Oatcakes, seaweed and ocean breezes, with waxy green apples, butter crumpets, spicy peppercorn, caraway and anise.

GlenAllachie 12 Year Old 2009 (Drinks by the Dram)

GlenAllachie lies in Aberlour on the bank of the River Spey. It’s a relatively recent distillery, built in 1967, and in the past, most of its production went into blends. In 2017, however, it was bought by a consortium including ex-BenRiach MD Billy Walker, and the emphasis is now on single malts.

This 12-year-old was distilled in 2009 before ageing in an ex-bourbon cask. In 2018 it was racked into a single Oloroso sherry puncheon, before bottling in 2021 at cask strength for Drinks by the Dram. 359 bottles are available.

How does it taste?

If you love sherry, then you’re going to love this. Think rum and raisin, ginger, nutmeg, vanilla and dark chocolate. 

Glenfarclas 1991 29 Year Old Family Cask

Glenfarclas is one of the few family-owned distilleries in Scotland. It’s been in the hands of the Grant family since the 19th century. It is also one of the last distilleries in Scotland to use direct-fired stills, and all its whiskies are aged the traditional way in ex-Oloroso casks in a dunnage warehouse.

Here’s a very special bottling. It was distilled in 1991 and spent 29 years in a single refill Oloroso sherry hogshead. It was bottled exclusively for Master of Malt at 55% ABV with only 213 bottles produced. 

How does it taste?

Dried fruit, raisins, apricots and orange peel on the nose with a whiff of furniture polish. Lively, spicy and tangy on the palate with creamy barley, gingerbread and nutty chocolate.

Smooth Ambler Old Scout 5 Year Old Bourbon (Drinks by the Dram) 

West Virginia’s Smooth Ambler began in 2009 as a gin and vodka distillery, but founder John Little saw an opportunity when he came across casks of quality mature bourbon that nobody else wanted. Since then, Little has begun producing his own whiskey but still sells sourced spirits under the Old Scout label. 

This was distilled at the vast MGP distillery in Indiana, source of so much high-quality bourbon. The mash bill is 60% corn, 36% rye and 4% malted barley. Following ageing for five years it was bottled with minimal filtration at 59.6% ABV.

How does it taste?

Sweet, smooth and very spicy, you’ll find cinnamon gum, brown sugar, coffee, cracked black pepper, liquorice, and Crunchie Bars in here. 

These whiskies are available in very limited quantities, once they’re gone, they’re gone.

Glenfarclas 60 Year Old

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Top ten Scotch whiskies for autumn

Whether it’s a blend or single malt, smoky or sherried, everyday or for a special occasion, we’ve got the perfect ten Scotch whiskies for autumn. How do you feel about…

Whether it’s a blend or single malt, smoky or sherried, everyday or for a special occasion, we’ve got the perfect ten Scotch whiskies for autumn.

How do you feel about autumn? We have to come out and say that it might be our favourite time of the year. The trees are turning golden, and the days are getting shorter, but there’s still a little warmth in the air. It’s the sweet spot from a sartorial point of view too, no more sweating in shorts, but the bulky layers of winter haven’t come in yet. 

But the nights are getting cold, making it the perfect season to enjoy a warming dram to take the edge off the evening chill. So, we’ve rounded up some of our favourite Scotch whisky including a classic blend, a couple of sherry bombs, some fruity mellow bottlings, Islay smokies, and two highly-aged limited editions for those feeling fancy.

So here’s to autumn, “season of malts and mellow fruitfulness” as Keats might have put it if he worked in the content team at Master of Malt.

Ten Scotch whiskies for autumn

J&B rare

J&B Rare 

J&B Rare is one of those whiskies so ubiquitous, you probably don’t even notice it behind the bar. Which is a shame because this is probably the ultimate Highball whisky. Just blend with soda, ice and maybe a dash of orange bitters for a refreshing pre-dinner drink. One sip and you’ll never go back to G&Ts.

What does it taste like? 

Yes, it’s light but there’s depth here too with appley fruit joined by richer notes of malt, cedar, vanilla and walnut with a lift of orange zest. Perfect with soda.

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Glenrothes 18 Year Old Soleo Collection 

The Soleo Collection was named after the process of sun-drying grapes for the production of sherry in Jerez, and as such you should expect plenty of sherry notes throughout the range. This 18 year old single malt features a very high proportion of first-fill sherry seasoned oak cask matured whisky at its core

What does it taste like?

On the nose there’s peaches and pears with dried fruits, honey and tobacco, and the palate is sumptuous and creamy. Definitely a malt full of “mellow fruitfulness”.

dalmore-15-year-old-whisky

Dalmore 15 Year Old 

The Dalmore gets its character from a heavy new make aged first in bourbon and then sherry casks. But not just any sherry casks, this 15 year old is aged in barrels that previously held luxurious Matusalem, Apostoles and Amoroso wines from Gonzalez Byass for a rich unctuous taste.

What does it taste like? 

Think Terry’s Chocolate Orange with fruitcake, baking spices, stem ginger in syrup, coffee and orange peel. It makes a cracking fireside dram.

A perfect Burns Night dram!

Darkness 8 Year Old 

If you like a sherry bomb then you’ll love the Darkness 8 Year Old. It’s a single malt from an undisclosed distillery aged in ex-bourbon casks before spending a few months in custom-made Oloroso sherry octave casks. Small casks make for a vastly increased surface area to volume ratio, leading to more cask influence. In other words: sherry city!

What does it taste like? 

More sherry than a vicars convention in Jerez. Candied orange peel, dried cherry and chocolate peanuts on the nose, with powerful raisin, prune and oak on the palate. 

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Tomatin 14 Year Old Port Cask Finish 

Located on the edge of Speyside, Tomatin is a distillery that deserves to be better known especially as it’s turning out whiskies as good as this one. This is a 14 year old expression aged first in bourbon barrels before finishing in Port casks which impart a wine-like sweetness to the whisky.

What does it taste like? 

Dark chocolate dipped in strawberries with white pepper, crushed almonds, walnuts, Victoria sponge and a centre of oak.

Top ten: peated whisky under £50

Caol Ila 12 Year Old 

An Islay classic that we just can’t get enough of. Caol Ila 12 Year Old has beautifully measured and mellow smokiness that allows all kinds of complex flavours to come together beautifully. Its fresh, coastal and briney elements will transport you to the sea while the fruity, citrus notes add great depth. 

What does it taste like?

Rubbed peppermint leaves, damp grass, lemon peels at the harbour, boiled sweets and elegant smoke.

kilchoman-saligo-bay-whisky

Kilchoman Saligo Bay

A new bottling from Kilchoman on Islay is always something to celebrate. This was previously travel retail only but we’ve managed to snaffle a few bottles. It’s an enjoyably smoky single malt which has been matured in bourbon casks before being bottled up at 46% ABV. The name comes from one of the rocky bays on the west coast of the Hebribean isle

What does it taste like? 

One the nose there’s roasted almonds, rock pools, oak, and honey. Take a sip, and there’s a sea breeze quality to it, with apple and caramel.

arran-10-year-old-whisky

Arran 10 Year Old

This distillery was founded by former Chivas MD Harold Currie, the first on the isle of Arran on the West Coast since 1837. It might be the entry level whisky but this ten year old aged entirely in bourbon casks tastes pretty special, showing off the fruity, floral distillery character.

What does it taste like: 

Nutty and biscuity with fresh apple and lemon fruit plus floral summer hedgerow and honey notes. It’s packed full of character and really over delivers for the money.

balblair-12-year-old-whisky

Balblair 12 Year Old

Another massive favourite with the team here at Master of Malt. This Highland distillery, which featured in the film The Angel’s Share, makes cracking malts across the range. This 12 year old is the baby of the bunch, aged in ex-bourbon double-fired American oak casks, and it’s superb.

What does it taste like? 

The soft mango and peach distillery character really shines through, supported by spicy cedar and nutmeg, honey and barley. A great introduction to a great distillery. 

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Singleton of Dufftown 21 Year Old 

And finally… we’ve included two fancy ones in case you’re pushing the boat out. The first is from Dufftown and was chosen by master blender Maureen Robinson and aged in a combination of Oloroso-seasoned European oak and ex-bourbon casks. The result is a gloriously rich and mesmerising dram with exceptional balance.

What does it taste like? 

Gorgeously rich with notes of dates, dried apricots, orange peel, honey, toffee, honey and ginger, with an incredibly long finish. 

bruichladdich-that-boutiquey-whisky-company-whisky

Bruichladdich 28 Year Old (That Boutique-y Whisky Company) 

A 28 year old single malt from the Bruichladdich Distillery, which means that it was distilled before the great Laddy revival of 2000 when the future of this great distillery was looking very uncertain. It was made in the classic unpeated style and slumbered nearly three decades in oak before it was bottled by the boffins at TBWC.

What does it taste like? 

It’s a powerful drop, make no mistake. There dark chocolate and cherry jam coming together rather like a Black Forest gâteau with baking spices and toasty oak. 

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Master of Malt Islay Festival 2021 Day 4: Caol Ila

It’s Master of Malt Islay Festival 2021 Day 4: Caol Ila time! Do you know what Caol Ila means in Gaelic? The sound of Islay. It’s fitting then, that the…

It’s Master of Malt Islay Festival 2021 Day 4: Caol Ila time! Do you know what Caol Ila means in Gaelic? The sound of Islay. It’s fitting then, that the brand is marking its distillery day with a night of whisky and music. We found out why these two worlds collide so beautifully, what the distillery exclusive bottling to look out for is and what the distillery has planned for today.

What’s going on today: At Caol Ila on 31 May, starting at 7pm on the Caol Ila Facebook page, a night of whisky and music will take place with Glasgow-based actor and musician, Patricia Panther, as guest host. Mairi McGillvary, an Islay-born award-winning Gaelic singer will share some of her latest music and Alasdair Currie, a Gaelic singer, and piper also based in Islay, will join the lineup for a special performance. The evening is complete with a first look at the Caol Ila Fèis Ìle Festival bottling, delicious whisky cocktail recipes, and a specially commissioned contemporary composition from singer-songwriter Beldina Odenyo.

What’s the distillery exclusive to look out for: Caol Ila Fèis Ìle 2021 – 12 Year Old. A bottling matured in refill American Oak casks and finished in high char Moscatel-seasoned casks, there’s just 3,000 of these being released with an ABV of 56.6%, and an RSP of £130 per 70cl. It’s available to purchase at Lagavulin Distillery and online on malts.com from 1 June with a pre-sale for subscribers at 2pm (BST) 31 May. 

Master of Malt Islay Festival 2021 Day 4: Caol Ila

It’s Caol Ila day!

Coal Ila: the marriage of music and malts

“I was over in Islay last week recording and it’s a wonderfully noisy place. The wind was blowing. The waves were crashing against the rocks. That’s very much the sound of the island. You expect those natural sounds of the island. But during Fèis something changes in the air, the pubs get busier and it’s really noisy. There are incredible bands and musicians everywhere and the place really comes to life”. 

Diageo brand ambassador, Ervin Trykowski is telling me why Caol Ila chose music as its theme for its distillery day this year. He says Fèis is in essence a music festival as much as it is a whisky one. As much we love our drams, we’re inclined to agree. It’s in the name, for goodness sake. The Islay Festival of Music and Malt. It’s an integral part of the celebration. There’s so much going on, you don’t have to be a whisky drinker to get involved. 

Music and whisky have long been entwined. Think of stars like Frank Sinatra, Keith Richards or ‘Lemmy’ Kilmeister (who was so associated with Jack Daniel’s over the years that an online petition to rename a JD-and-Coke as ‘a Lemmy’ after his death got about 50,000 signatures). While Bob Dylan, Slipknot, and more have entered into the world of booze production. 

Master of Malt Islay Festival 2021 Day 4: Caol Ila

Mairi McGillvray grew up surrounded by music and malts

The sound of Islay

Few musicians can be as steeped in whisky lore as Mairi McGillvary, who is performing for Caol Ila tonight. She was born on the island, her dad was a warehouseman at Bunnahabhain for over 30 years and she even worked there as a tour guide. Since a young age, she has been highly involved in Fèis Ìle, as a singer, fiddler, and highland dancer. “I believe that music and whisky are two of Scotland’s most important exports,” McGilvary says. “Whisky has played a huge part in my life. Growing up on Islay, it is all around you. To be able to tie that in with my love for music is a real privilege”. 

We often think of pairings for whisky solely in terms of food. But settings, sounds, and company enhance and change your dram as much as any dish. There’s a whisky for every genre of music. 

Master of Malt Islay Festival 2021 Day 4: Caol Ila

Grab a dram and enjoy!

“Everyone’s got their own favourite whiskies and they’ve got their own wonderful taste in music,” Trykowski says. “Music can change your mood, it can change the way you feel about different whiskies, and the whisky can do exactly the same to the music. It’s a partnership that works together in harmony”. 

Perhaps whisky and music go together so well because they share a great many things. Both cannot be crafted without a degree of care, intellect, and technology, but ultimately they’re works of art with ethereal qualities; an ability to transport; to elicit visceral, emotional, and instinctive responses; to make you want to share more moments with the people you love; to make you want to dance, even if it’s painfully obvious to everyone that it’s a terrible, terrible idea. 

So, grab a dram, pop our playlist on and celebrate a festival that brings the two together so brilliantly. Slàinte mhath!

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Top ten malt whiskies for Father’s Day

If your old man is a whisky fan, he’s going to love one of these bottles turning up on his doorstep on Sunday 20 June. In our top ten malt…

If your old man is a whisky fan, he’s going to love one of these bottles turning up on his doorstep on Sunday 20 June. In our top ten malt whiskies for Father’s Day, there’s a bottle for every dad, as long as he likes whisky. 

Father’s Day is coming, and it’s an especially big Father’s Day as some of us haven’t seen our dads for months. In some cases years. 

We know that it can be hard to find gifts for awkward dads. Now, you could send him some socks or a mug that says ‘world’s best dad’ on it. But what we reckon he’ll really enjoy is a nice bottle of whisky. So for all your Father’s Day gifting requirements we’ve picked some of our favourite malt whiskies. 

And we’re not just sticking to Scotland either, we’ve ventured to Ireland, Japan, and even south of the border, to England! Just remember, a whisky isn’t just for Father’s Day, it’s for life, or at least until you’ve finished the bottle.

Here are our to ten malt whiskies for Father’s Day

glenfiddich-15-year-old-solera-whisky

Glenfiddich 15 Solera

Hats off to Glenfiddich, it pretty much invented the modern market for single malt whiskies in the 1960s, when everyone else was betting on blends. It’s so ubiquitous that whisky aficionados often overlook it, which is a shame because the distillery produces some great bottlings. We’re particularly partial to this sherry-soaked 15 year old. 

What does it taste like?

Unmistakable sherry notes on the nose with fruitcake and orange peel, and then on the palate it’s all about candied fruit and raisins. 

balvenie-doublewood-12-year-old-whisky

Balvenie DoubleWood 12 Year Old

Balvenie is Glenffiddich’s shy sibling. While its brother is a global celebrity, Balvenie just gets on quietly turning out some of the best whiskies in Speyside. The DoubleWood is a long time favourite  of ours matured first in refill American oak casks before it was treated to a finish in first fill European oak Oloroso sherry butts for an additional nine months.

What does it taste like?

Perfect blend of bourbon and sherry. Vanilla and nutmeg notes mingle with dried fruit and nuts. A classic. 

bushmills-10-year-old-whiskey

Bushmills 10 Year Old 

Bushmills has been distilling a long time. Since 1784 to be precise though the site’s whiskey heritage stretches back to 1608. Along with Midleton in Cork, it kept the flame burning for Irish whiskey during the dark times turning out delicious triple-distilled single malts. The 10 year old is a great place to start. 

What does it taste like?

Sweet notes like banana and chocolate pudding with plenty of orangey and floral notes, and gorgeous creamy texture. 

caol-ila-12-year-old-that-boutiquey-whisky-company-whisky

Caol Ila 12 Year Old (That Boutique-y Whisky Company) 

We love the classic Caol Ila 12 year old but instead we’ve gone for something a bit different. It’s a special bottling from That Boutique-y Whisky Company, bottled at cask strength and with quite a bit of sherry character which mingles deliciously with the smoke from the whisky. Only 468 bottles have been filled of batch 20 of this whisky.

What does it taste like?

Jammy red berries and rich coffee, with a generous helping of phenolic smoke. Almonds, dates, and yet more sweet peat smokiness. 

cotswolds-single-malt-whisky

Cotswolds Single Malt Whisky

The late Jim Swan consulted for the Cotswold distillery and you can taste it in how they managed to get so much flavour into what is a young whisky. It’s aged ex-bourbon and STR (shaved, toasted and recharred) red wine casks.  Since it was released in 2018, this NAS expression just keeps getting better and better as the distillery builds up its mature blending stock.  

What does it taste like?

The first thing you notice are spicy cereal notes, then comes the fruit, orange peel and lemon. On the palate it’s creamy and round with sweet citrus fruit and black pepper.

highland-park-12-year-old-viking-honour-whisky

Highland Park 12 Year Old – Viking Honour

Once just known as Highland Park 12 Year Old, now it’s called Viking Honour. Fearsome! The whisky, happily, is the same as it ever was with that classic honey, floral and wood smoke profile. The Orkney distillery does things the time-honoured ways with floor maltings, peat, sherry casks and cool climate maturation. If it ain’t broke and all that. 

What does it taste like?

Honey and floral notes abound on the nose with some wood smoke. On the palate it’s peppery with notes of orange and wood shavings. 

seaweed-and-aeons-and-digging-and-fire-and-sherry-casks-and-cask-strength-10-year-old-whisky

Seaweed & Aeons & Digging & Fire & Sherry Casks & Cask Strength 10 Year Old (Batch 01)

Yes, the name is a bit of a mouthful but it’s worth taking the time to pronounce because this is a very special whisky. It’s a 10 year old Islay from an undisclosed distillery, finished in sherry casks and bottled at cask strength. If you like your smoke sherried, then you’re in for a treat. 

What does it taste like?

Coffee beans, madeira cake and chocolate on the nose with seaweed and cigars. Sweet dried fruit on the palate lifted by a smoky sea breeze. 

nikka-coffey-malt-whisky

Nikka Coffey Malt Whisky

In Scotland this would not be allowed to be called a single malt because though it is made from 100% malted barley, it’s distilled  in a Coffey still rather than a pot. A technique usually used for grain whisky. Happily, it’s made in Japan not Scotland at Nikka’s Miyagikyo distillery. It was launched in 2014 and has proved a firm favourite ever since.  

What does it taste like?

There’s toffee, fruitcake, orange and milk chocolate on the nose, and the palate is sweet and spicy with that citrus note keeping it fresh.

masthouse-single-malt-whisky

Masthouse Single Malt

We were very excited to try this first single malt from the Copper Rivet Distillery in Chatham, Kent as we’d tasted some aged new make. It’s fair to say that we were more than impressed as it manages to be vibrant, smooth and packed full of flavour despite only being three years old. It’s made only from Kentish barley, distilled and aged in ex-bourbon and virgin American white oak barrels.

What does it taste like?

The fruit on the nose jumps out of the glass with apple and peaches followed by creamy cereal, sweet spices and vanilla. 

bruichladdich-scottish-barley-the-classic-laddie-whisky

Bruichladdich Scottish Barley – The Classic Laddie

If you think Islay is all about smoke and TCP, then you must try the Classic Laddie. It was created by the great Jim McEwan when Bruichladdich was brought back from the dead in 2001 to showcase the distillery’s unique unpeated style. It’s made from 100% Scottish barley and aged in American oak casks. For those who crave smoke, the distillery also makes peated whisky under the Port Charlotte (quite peaty) and Octomore (very extremely peaty) labels.

What does it taste like?

This is all about elegance with honey, barley and orange blossom joined on the palate by apples with a dusting of cinnamon and brown sugar, all with a faint sea breeze lurking in the background. 

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IWD 2021 interview: Kirstin Neil, coppersmith with Diageo

This International Women’s Day we’re celebrating the women behind the drinks you love. Today, we have Kirstin Neil young who plays a vital role as a coppersmith, building and repairing…

This International Women’s Day we’re celebrating the women behind the drinks you love. Today, we have Kirstin Neil young who plays a vital role as a coppersmith, building and repairing the stills that make Scotch whisky possible.

Kirstin Neil is only the second ever coppersmith to be employed by Diageo. Though she doesn’t come from a whisky background, her father’s profession as a welder-fabricator influenced her choice of job. “I always knew that I wasn’t really one to be working at a desk. I like to be on my feet and working with my hands,” she said, “it was a nice eye-opener to see the things that can be created working with your hands in welding and fabricating.”

Kirstin Neil Diageo Coppersmith (1)

Kirstin Neil in action

Handy work

Initially she was training to be a hairdresser when she met a friend who worked at Diageo’s Abercrombie works in Alloa, just outside her home town of Falkirk in Scotland’s central belt. She loved the sound of the job: “you’re making everything handmade from flat sheets of copper.” What particularly appealed was that “something you’ve created with your own hands” would make a product that was enjoyed all over the world. So hairdressing’s loss was whisky’s gain.

Neil had already done a year welding and fabricating in college which set her in good stead when she began her apprenticeship. “My manager Charlie King looked into that and when he phoned me to tell me I had the job, he also discussed with me starting as a second year,” she said. It normally takes four years to train, but Neil will do it in three, so she has 18 months left until she’s fully qualified. 

The work is very varied (see video below for an insight into what goes on at Abercrombie). An average day might consist of making new pieces such as a lyne arm, condenser or swan neck by hand in the workshop made with measurements obtained at the distillery. Or she might be visiting a distillery itself to patch stills that have worn. She explained: “Recently, I was working over on Islay and we were replacing the side sheets on a still. So we actually rolled them in the workshop, in Alloa, and we had to transport them across on a ferry to Islay. We had to then build them up on site, because we wouldn’t have been able to get it on the ferry.”

Perks of the job

While on Islay, she picked up a taste for Caol Ila 12 year old. Well, it is one of the perks of the job. She’s also a fan of Glenkinchie and Ben Nevis. “I do like a wee dram out of the bottles every now and again,” she said.

Neil is following in the footsteps of Rebecca Weir, the first ever coppermith at Diageo. “That was amazing for her to break that barrier and be the first female coppersmith and I feel just as privileged to be the second female coppersmith. I hope that other female coppersmiths join the career path”. She clearly loves the camaraderie of the job. “Everybody has been very supportive. I’ve not come across any sexism. It’s a great place to work and to be part of a team. I was accepted into the team from day one”. 

According to Neil, her father was initially a little sceptical at first, “because I’m quite short so I think he was kind of worried about the bigger jobs. But he’s really proud of me and so is my mother,” she said. Now, many of her friends are now interested in getting similar jobs: “Why should it be a man’s job? Women can do the same tasks as men can do”, she said. Why not, indeed. 

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Join our Islay celebrations on Instagram Live!

Just because we won’t be heading to Islay this year, doesn’t mean we can’t keep the festival spirit alive! Thanks to the magic of Instagram Live we’ve organised a series of…

Just because we won’t be heading to Islay this year, doesn’t mean we can’t keep the festival spirit alive! Thanks to the magic of Instagram Live we’ve organised a series of interviews with the island’s distilleries that features tastings, chats and Q&As.

This is usually the time of year where we would pack our travel bags, camera kit and 10-litre bottles of midge insect repellent to head north to the beautiful Scottish island of Islay to revel in one of the highlights, if not the highlight of the whisky calendar. The week-and-a-bit from 22-30 May was sure to provide all the whisky-dipped merriment you could shake Dave Worthington’s pipe at.

But we have no intention of letting this period pass by without some recognition of an island that is home to some of Scotch whisky’s finest distilleries. Which is why we’ve put together the next best thing. Through the wonderful medium of Instagram Live, we’ve created our own virtual festival by teaming up with the island’s distilleries (and the fab folk at Jura, of course). We’ve put together a programme of tastings, chats and Q&As with your questions, comments and tasting notes to keep the Islay spirit alive and your tasting glass full from the comfort of your own home.

We thoroughly hope you enjoy our virtual Islay celebration. The schedule for the Instagram Live shows is listed below, complete with accompanying dram. Don’t forget, you can always embrace the Islay spirit whenever you like with Drinks by the Dram’s Islay Whisky Tasting Set! Why not order one for you and a pal and set up your own Zoom tasting?

Fèis Ìle on Instagram Live

Aerolite Lyndsay 10 Year Old

Day One

Who’s joining us? The Character of Islay Whisky Company and its head of whisky, Sam Simmons for a tasting. What a way to kick off proceedings!

What whisky will we be tasting? Aerolite Lyndsay 10 Year Old, Green Isle, Grace Île and Fiona Macleod.

When is it? Friday 22 May at 7:30pm

Fèis Ìle on Instagram Live

Lagavulin will be joining us on day two

Day Two

Who’s joining us? Lagavulin and its distillery manager Colin Gordon for an evening dram and a chat. Grab a tasting glass and get your questions ready for Colin!

What whisky will we be tasting? Lagavulin 8Lagavulin 16.

When is it? Saturday 23 May at 8:30pm.

Fèis Ìle on Instagram Live

Head distiller Adam Hannett will join us for a tasting and Q&A

Day Three

Who’s joining us? Bruichladdich and its head distiller Adam Hannett for a tasting and Q&A. Bruichladdich also has its own Laddie Lock-In, while its ballot system to decide who can get their hands on its alternative festival bottling, Port Charlotte 16, has now concluded.

What whisky will we be tasting? The Classic Laddie.

When is it? Sunday 24 May at 6pm.

Fèis Ìle on Instagram Live

Caol Ila Distillery, as seen from the skies.

Day Four

Who’s joining us? Caol Ila and its distillery manager for an evening dram and a chat with Pierrick Guillaume.

What whisky will we be tasting? Caol Ila 12.

When is it? Monday 25 May at 8:15pm. 

Fèis Ìle on Instagram Live

We’ll be spending lunchtime with Laphroaig

Day Five

Who’s joining us? Laphroaig for a lunchtime taste and learn session with distillery manager John Campbell. It will also be hosting its own celebration, #LaphroaigLive from 18:15pm.

What whisky will we be tasting? Laphroaig 10.

When is it? Tuesday 26 May at 1pm. 

Fèis Ìle on Instagram Live

The beautiful Bowmore Distillery who will join us on day six

Day Six

Who’s joining us? Bowmore for another lunchtime Live, with time with distillery manager, David Turner. We’ll have a chat about all things whisky, so ready your questions!

What whisky will we be tasting? Bowmore 12.

When is it? Wednesday 27 May at 1pm.

Fèis Ìle on Instagram Live

Kilchoman founder Anthony Wills will stop by to kick-off our Thursday with a bang

Day Seven

Who’s joining us? Kilchoman and its founder Anthony Wills will be kicking off the day with us. The distillery also has quite the online festival Programme, complete with live tastings and a distillery tour.

What whisky will we be tasting? Kilchoman Machir Bay, Loch Gorm 2020, the new Am Burach, 100% Islay 9th Edition, and the official Festival Bottling!

When is it? Thursday 28 May at 10.30am.

Fèis Ìle on Instagram Live

Bunnahabhain Toiteach a Dhà

Day Eight

Who’s joining us? Bunnahabhain and its global brand director, Derek Scott, who will host a tasting with a very delicious dram, usually distillery-exclusive dram (it will also host its own 8pm tasting, ‘Fèis at home‘). 

What whisky will we be tasting? Bunnahabhain Toiteach a Dhà, Bunnahabhain 25-Year-Old, and the very exciting Bunnahabhain 2003 Amontillado Finish, which is usually only available from the distillery.

When is it? Friday 29 May at 5pm.

Fèis Ìle on Instagram Live

The scenic Jura Distillery makes delicious and subtle smoky whisky

Who’s joining us? Jura and Whyte & Mackay’s Gregg Glass, who will be online with us for an evening tasting. 

What whisky will we be tasting? Jura 10 Year Old.

When is it? Friday 29 May evening.

Fèis Ìle on Instagram Live

The stunning Ardbeg Distillery at night

Day Nine

Who’s joining us? Ardbeg and Brendan McCarron, head of maturing whisky stocks for Ardbeg (and sister distillery Glenmorangie) ,for an Ardbeg Day tasting. You can also join the distillery at 7pm on Facebook for its first-ever online Ardbeg Day!

What whisky will we be tasting? Ardbeg 10An Oa and Blaaack. 

When is it? Saturday 30 May at 3pm.

 

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10 delicious boozes to keep your spirits up at home

We’ve rounded up ten delightful drinks for those who still want to indulge in some boozy brilliance while stuck at home. I hope you’ve been working on your social distancing…

We’ve rounded up ten delightful drinks for those who still want to indulge in some boozy brilliance while stuck at home.

I hope you’ve been working on your social distancing game, folks. I’m something of a pro myself. Staying indoors wearing sweatpants, feigning disappointment at cancelled plans and watching so much Netflix I think it’s stopped bothering with the ‘are you still watching?’ prompt is a life I’m well attuned to. I’ve also got a hell of a drinks cabinet for when I fancy a small indulgence.

If you’re anything like us here at MoM Towers, then a period of self-isolation means time to refine your cocktail-making skills, an opportunity to sample an intriguing new dram and to restock the home bar with exciting new expressions. That’s why we’ve created this selection especially for those who could use a bit of retail therapy right now (#treatyoself). Enjoy the list and please stay safe.

10 delicious boozes to keep your spirits up at home

Negroni Bundle

If you’re looking for a simple and tasty cocktail to make at home, then we humbly recommend the classic Negroni. Thankfully we’ve made the whole process even easier with this handy little bundle, which brings together the holy trinity of great gin, tasty vermouth and wonderfully bitter Campari in one convenient place. We’ve even chucked in [carefully] a crystal Master of Malt Riedel tumbler to add to the super savings. 

Negroni recipe:

Combine 25ml of Bathtub Gin, 25ml of Campari and 25ml of Martini Rosso sweet vermouth. Stir over ice and strain into your shiny new ice-filled Riedel tumbler. Garnish with an orange peel (‘express’ over top by giving it a little squeeze, and then simply plonk it in).

10 delicious boozes to keep your spirits up at home

Beavertown Neck Oil Bundle (6 Pack)

Having a few cans on hand is something many a booze-lover will want to ensure during this period of self-isolation, but there’s no need to settle for less. The bundle of Beavertown’s sublime session IPA – Neck Oil doesn’t just guarantee you terrific beer, it will also save you 10% versus buying them individually. Who doesn’t love a discount?

What does it taste like?

Light and crisp but full of flavour – citrusy and hoppy, slightly floral, very moreish.

10 delicious boozes to keep your spirits up at home

Dead Man’s Fingers Pineapple Rum

Pineapple and rum just belong together, unlike pineapple and pizza. I don’t make the rules. But I do know that Dead Man’s Fingers make a seriously good flavoured rum. This terrific tropical treat boasts notes of both candied and roasted pineapple, alongside simmering spices and a helping of brown sugar. Superb served over ice, but also goes great with lemonade or ginger ale.

What does it taste like?

Bright and almost tangy at first with fresh pineapple and ginger, followed by homemade caramel, nutmeg, cassia and mango.

10 delicious boozes to keep your spirits up at home

The Macallan 12 Year Old Sherry Oak

If you’re not familiar with the delights of the Macallan distillery, then this expression is the perfect way to acquaint yourself. Released as part of Macallan’s ever-wonderful Sherry Oak range, this delicious dram spent its entire maturation in sherry-seasoned oak casks which impart that rich, fruity and full-bodied profile we’ve come to know and love from a sherried Macallan.

What does it taste like?

Sultanas, fresh apple blossom, Calvados, tropical fruit, golden syrup, hot pastries, marmalade and barley sugar.

10 delicious boozes to keep your spirits up at home

Jaffa Cake Gin

At a time like this, there’s nothing better than a few home comforts, like comfy pyjamas, a cup of tea and a box of jaffa cakes. Sounds like bliss. How about if you added a tipple, like a delicious and fun gin? Even better. What if that gin was made to taste like jaffa cakes and even included the timeless treat in its botanical selection? Perfection. Good thing such a drink exists. Now, go forth and make an insanely delicious Negroni. Full marks if you stick a Jaffa Cake on your glass like a citrus wheel garnish.

What does it taste like?

Zingy orange (marmalade-esque), rich and earthy chocolate, vanilla-rich cake, a touch of almondy-goodness and a solid backbone of juniper. Also, Jaffa Cakes! 

10 delicious boozes to keep your spirits up at home

Tanqueray No. Ten

A bartender’s favourite for a reason, Tanqueray No. Ten is simply one of the most delicious, versatile and iconic gins on the market. Named after the still of its origin, pot still number 10, which is quite endearingly nicknamed Tiny Ten, this expression was crafted using whole fresh citrus fruits, such as oranges, limes and grapefruit, along with chamomile flowers and other traditional botanicals. Quarantini, anyone?

What does it taste like?

Tangy grapefruit zest, creamy custard, clean juniper, hints of Earl Grey tea and cardamom. 

10 delicious boozes to keep your spirits up at home

Caol Ila 12 Year Old

A staple Islay whisky, the perfect introduction into the smokier side of things and one of our all-time favourites, we’ll happily champion this peaty, fruity and fresh tipple whenever the opportunity presents itself. The entry-level bottling from the Caol Ila distillery is phenomenal (or should that be phenonenal. You know, because of all the phenols… oh, shut up) neat, but if you’re a fan of a Penicillin Cocktail it should do the trick too.

What does it taste like?

Fresh herbs, rubbed peppermint leaves, damp grass, cigar leaves, smoked ham, hickory, elegant smoke, boiled sweets and lemon peels at the harbour.

10 delicious boozes to keep your spirits up at home

Woodford Reserve Double Oaked

If you’ve ever enjoyed the delightful Woodford Reserve but craved something a little deeper, darker and richer, then you’re in luck. Double Oaked is made the same way as its classic sister expression but is then further matured in barrels which have been heavily toasted and lightly charred. A killer Old Fashioned awaits.

What does it taste like?

Lots of sweet oaken character, as well as rich fruit, vanilla and caramel notes.

10 delicious boozes to keep your spirits up at home

The Lakes Vodka

If you’re a vodka fan and you’re on the lookout for a reliably clean and crisp bottling, then you’re not going to do much better than the winner of the World’s Best Vodka at the World Vodka Awards 2019. The Lakes Vodka was made with water from the River Derwent (the very same River Derwent which was mentioned in William Wordworth’s book, The Prelude!) and triple distilled for the desired clarity and flavour profile. It’s sublime in a number of cocktails, like the simple and sublime Moscow Mule.

What does it taste like?

Very soft and a touch drying, with light hints of peppery wheat coming through.

10 delicious boozes to keep your spirits up at home

Signature Blend #2 (That Boutique-y Rum Company)

For those who intend to make good use of their time indoors by perfecting the art of the Mai-Tai, then look no further than the second Signature Blend from That Boutique-y Rum Company for your base spirit. It was specifically developed with Pete Holland (who you’ll know from The Floating Rum Shack) with the classic cocktail in mind and was made from a combination of particularly rich Guyanese rum and some wonderfully funky Jamaican rums.

What does it taste like?

Oily walnuts, rich molasses, dark chocolate, oaky tannins, spicy nutmeg, pitted Medjool dates, raisins, papaya, banana bread, engine oil, sweet tobacco, coconut husk, juicy pineapple, sugarcane, game meat, coffee beans, black tea, dark chocolate and roasted apricot. 

 

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Whisky Advent 2019 Day #13: Caol Ila 12 Year Old

Friday 13th is unlucky for some… but not if you’ve got your mitts on a Drinks by the Dram Whisky Advent Calendar. Today’s delectable drop is Caol Ila 12 Year…

Friday 13th is unlucky for some… but not if you’ve got your mitts on a Drinks by the Dram Whisky Advent Calendar. Today’s delectable drop is Caol Ila 12 Year Old!

Tucked away in one of the most picturesque corners of the UK lies Caol Ila. It’s the largest of the Islay distilleries by output, but you’d never guess from its quaint, waterfront position, all white-painted warehouses and traditional buildings, only accessible by snaking, single-track road. The distillery clings to the steep hillside; the Paps of Jura tower from across the Sound of Jura. It might produce 6.5 million litres of alcohol a year, and it might be a significant player in the blended behemoth that is Johnnie Walker, but when you visit Caol Ila, there’s an incredible sense of tranquillity.

This could be about to change. As part of a £150 million investment across its network of distilleries, parent company Diageo is in the process of updating the visitor centre at Caol Ila. It’ll be the Johnnie Walker’s Islay embassy, if you will. There’s to be a stunning aerial walkway and state-of-the-art facilities. Get set for a transformation.

We might need to be a little patient before we can explore the new visitor centre, but there are drams aplenty we can enjoy right now. And coincidentally, Whisky Advent’s Day 13 dram hails from Caol Ila. It’s a sumptuously smoky drop, with delicious texture and incredible character. It’s…

Caol Ila 12 Year Old!

Caol Ila 12 Year Old

Say hello to Pierrick Guillaume!

Here to tell us more is Pierrick Guillaume, Caol Ila site operations manager.

Master of Malt: Caol Ila is a remote distillery even by Islay standards! Tell us a little bit about a typical day in that setting…

Pierrick Guillaume: A typical day would consist of walking down to the distillery from home. In the winter you face the sun rising over the Jura hills with the sea between us. Well… when you see the sun! I’m lucky enough to regularly see wildlife through my office’s window such as seals, otters, guillemots or dolphins! Then after work, in the summer you can walk three minutes away from the distillery and catch a fish for dinner or if you are lucky, stop a fishing boat from the pier to get lobsters straight off the water! There are a lot of amazing spots to go for a run or a walk around the distillery too and there are a few sports activities that you can go to at night, rugby, football, netball, swimming, kayaking.

MoM: Talk us through the signature Caol Ila character…

PG: Caol Ila is a fruit market in a smoky hall. Caol Ila 12-year-old is the perfect entry door to the peaty world. When you take away this gentle peat wrapping the aromas, you are facing a whole range of fruitiness going from exotic notes to richer and darker fruits.

Caol Ila 12 Year Old

The beautiful Caol Ila Distillery

What trends or developments do you think we’ll see in the world of whisky in 2020?

PG: I think we will see an increased focus on sustainability in whisky-making – we are constantly innovating in this field to reduce the water usage at our distilleries and looking at ways of reducing our environmental impact, and this will, of course, continue to be a priority into 2020 and beyond.

What will you be drinking this Christmas?

PG: It will be Caol Ila Distiller’s Edition back home in the South West of France with my family whilst eating our home-made Yule log cake.

Caol Ila 12 Year Old Tasting Note:

Nose: It’s lively, fresh and herbal, with a distinct smoke wafting through. There are hints of cooked ham, too, along with cigar leaves and an aromatic citrus vibe. 

Palate: The rich, oily texture is immediately apparent, along with the tar and smoke notes. There’s a confectionery sweetness along with orchard fruits. 

Finish: The smoke goes on and on, framed with a gentle pepper warmth. 

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