April 2010 Archives

Caol Ila 10 Year Old by Dun Bheagan

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img10614858628.jpgThe Caol Ila 2008 bottling by Dun Bheagan is a youthful 10 year old malt which exhibits all the signature characteristics of the Caol Ila name, although not as completely as in the 12 or 18 year old expressions. It has a potency reminiscent of the cask strength bottling, and a clover honey streak which will appeal to fans of good Irish whiskies as well.

Nose: An intense rush of sea salt and peat, followed by clover and orange zest, characterizes the strongly alcoholic vapor on the nose of this dram. Enjoy it carefully and don't swirl the glass too much or else you may singe a nose hair.

Palate: Citrusy, with a mouth-puckering heat followed by mangos, mint, orange peel, salted nuts, and gentle peat on the finish. A dash of water brings out a clover honey taste evocative of a fine Irish whiskey such as the Connemara.

We enjoyed this dram accompanied by thin chocolate wafers of 70% percent coca. The chocolate elicited a wonderful mintiness while balancing off the peppery characteristics of the scotch. This pairing makes for a delicious after-dinner course.

Finish: Finishes heavily, with strong alcohol vapors, salty residue, and dry sulfurous notes lingering.

Overall: Tastes vary widely on this one. I personally favor the bold, peated, salty side of the scotch spectrum that is the signature of Islay malts Caol Ila. There is, however, a lack of subtlety bordering on immaturity in this scotch which may overwhelm someone who prefers a slightly more refined bouquet.

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  • Gerald Eddy commented on McClelland's Single Malt Scotch Whisky - Islay:

    I've read many reviews if this whiskey that condemn it as an unfavorable dram. I agree that as a peated Islay it can't compare to a Laphroig or an Ardbeg. However, despite the lack of complexities of those great single malts, at a third if the cost it will do nicely if your a Scotch whiskey drinker. It is a bit sweet, but it has peaty overtone to their other malts and has a nice vanilla and banana flavor as well. No...it's not a great whiskey, but it is palatable on a budget and is better then a lot if blends at a lower price. I would rather spend my money on this the a Johnny Walker Red which lacks any complexity and is far overrated.

  • Blair Conrad commented on Via Allegro: An Afternoon of Fine Food and Speyside Malts:

    Wow. This is amazing.

    I have a hard time pairing whisky with food as I normally just want to taste the whisky. :)

    However this makes me want to try it more and more. By the way that lamb looks like roadkill. That's definitely a man's meal.

    Fantastic blog. Keep it going, we appreciate your work.

  • Michael commented on Craigellachie 13 year old:

    I opened mine many months ago, just for a taste. Found it off putting and bitter for the first couple of samples. Skip ahead to the summer, after a few months of breathing new air, this is a different whisky. I look forward to pouring this one now, definitely worth the patience.

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