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Ileach Cask Strength

Rugged and young...

0 872

@hunggarReview by @hunggar

26th Mar 2015

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  • Nose
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  • Taste
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  • Finish
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  • Balance
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  • Overall
    72

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Distribution of ratings for this: brand user

I got pretty excited before opening this one. An affordable Islay single malt at cask strength? Great! As usual, I checked the online reviews for this, which are largely positive. I felt like I’d struck gold. Well…

Anyway here’s the Ileach. Much like Finlaggan, this is from an undisclosed distillery. There’s something of a debate online about where this is from. Not knowing can be both frustrating and liberating as a whisky drinkers. We want to know what we’re drinking, but we’re more objective when we can’t bring in any bias. Either way, let’s try.

Nose: Pointed, high-pitched, and astringent. Metallic peat, vinegar, lemon rind, barley, brine, smoked ham, tobacco, cranberry, and apple cider. Pretty harsh at first, settles somewhat after a few minutes.

Palate: Medium bodied, with a lot of heat from the spirit. Peat, salt, seawater, cranberry, seared honey, tobacco, and ash.

Finish: Medium length, young, and BIG. Ash. Cigarette or pipe ash, cherry tobacco, Spam, minerals, tin, limestone, vinegar, barley, caramel, and some indistinct sweet sherry notes.

Thoughts: This is an attack whisky in every regard. While some might appreciate its rugged appeal, this isn’t my cup of tea. I love a cask-strength peaty blast, but this is just too crude. Yes, it’s a quality spirit, but it tastes too close to new make, or a whisky that has been bottled halfway between distillation and maturity. Too spirity, big, and rough. My taste buds can usually bounce back from a peat monster, but I’d suggest you save this dram for the end of the night; it will burn your tongue off. A raw, immature, spirit-driven whisky that’s only halfway ready, I’d say.

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8 comments

@Frost
Frost commented

@hunggar this is an interesting review. You've made me curious if anything.

Your notes tick all my boxes: peat, salt, limestone, barley seawater and ash.

I think your spam notes worry me more than the hardness of the whisky though!

4 years ago 0

@AndyC
AndyC commented

@hunggar, I completely agree with you on this one. It tastes very unfinished, with a strong, young 'minerally' sort of tang is the only way I can describe it. It's a shame, because it has got quite a nice smokiness to it, but is spoiled by that half-finished tang. Just wondering if you have had the Finlaggan cask strength, and if so, how that compares to this?

4 years ago 0

@hunggar
hunggar commented

@Frost, actually a lot of people like this one, I wouldn’t be surprised if you were one of them. I can usually take a punch or bit of youth in my whisky, but apparently this is my limit. Definitely worth a try if my notes are ticking your boxes.

@AndyC, nice to know someone else is on the same page as me. It seems the majority of reviews for this are positive. No, I haven’t had the Finlaggan, so unfortunately I can’t compare.

4 years ago 0

@Frost
Frost commented

By chance I have tried Finlaggan CS at a recent whisky event here in Sydney. Unfortunately I have not had Ileach CS to draw a comparison. I didn't take notes either. I enjoyed the Finlaggan CS and it didn't taste youthful like @hunggar states the Ileach CS is.

4 years ago 0

@Victor
Victor commented

@hunggar, et alii, so what is your guess as to the distillery?

(having not tasted Ileach CS I have no opinion)

4 years ago 0

@hunggar
hunggar commented

Speculation only... I'd go with very young Laga.

4 years ago 0

@AndyC
AndyC commented

@hunggar, @Victor, I'm going to venture a very young Ardbeg. I got a 2014 bottling of Uigeadail that I'm not too impressed with because I think it has got some pretty young and raw whisky in, and I think that there is quite a distinctive shared note between the two, though it is much more pronounced in the Ileach. It's not a note that I have found in other young peated whiskies.

4 years ago 0

@mscottydunc
mscottydunc commented

I just opened and tasted a bottle of this, and mine tastes a lot like a younger, hotter, much peatier version of Bowmore 12. I am certain there is some coloring in this, as it's quite dark for such a young spirit. The nose on mine was closed at first but opened up after a while in the glass. I got the huge blast of ash that you mention as well. I read somewhere else online that this company will change the contents from bottling to bottling depending on which distillery has the best cask prices at that time. I would be very surprised if this batch I have is not from Bowmore.

3 years ago 0

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