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Since this dram is hard to find here in Taipei, my friend and I sprung at the chance to pick up a bottle together. It had been a while since any Coal Ila whisky had graced my shelf, and I wasn’t sure what to expect from this one. However any CS Islay offering is hardly a ‘risky purchase’ in my book, so I put up very little argument when my friend pushed me to grab it. Definitely a good call.
Nose: Not surprisingly, the nose is a huge burst peat and marine notes. Very salty and sea-foamy, with citrus, smooth malt, and hints of peppermint and lavender soap.
Palate: Oily mouthfeel, with salt first. Next there’s a big, heavy, rich wave of peat. There’s some lovely vanilla that begins to shine through as well, followed by oysters, petrol, grass and peppermint.
Finish: Long and semi-sweet. Seawater, smoke, smoked fish, oysters, spicy ginger tea, lemon cough drops, and finally more peppermint.
This is such a classic big-flavoured Islay kicker. Very intense and vibrant. It’s perhaps not as complex as some of the other more refined CS Islay offerings. No, this is not a subtle dram to be deconstructed and over-analyzed. This is just a well made and straight-forward whisky designed for sipping and enjoying. The folks at TWE say this “is a whisky capable of bringing joy to the most jaded peathead.” I’d have to agree, this is so easy to like. I challenge you to pour a dram of this and not fully enjoy every moment of it.