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Ileach Cask Strength

Average score from 4 reviews and 8 ratings 84

Ileach Cask Strength

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Ileach Cask Strength

When independents put out a single malt without disclosing the distillery, the online reviewers jump over themselves to figure the identity of the distillery. In this case there have been suggestions that this might be Lagavulin or Bowmore. And there are those who postulate that different batches come from different sources.

This bottle was opened at the Ontario Summit on May 23, is about 80% full and to my knowledge has been preserved with inert Gas since that time. This expression is reviewed in my usual manner, allowing it to settle after which I take my nosing and tasting notes, followed by the addition of a few drops of water, waiting, then nosing and tasting.


Neat – Initial peat blast, dry (reminding me of lagavulin), with substantial rubber notes (tire skid on pavement). On further nosing there is a sweetness to it reminiscent of Laphroaig QC. I get a bit of citrus in the background and perhaps a slight menthol, medicinal note, with a faint hint of bandage (the plastic ones you buy in the store for a cut). As times goes on the nose becomes a bit sweeter. Very peaty pushing everything else to the background. 21/25

With water – slightly sweeter nose, ?pineapple syrup (only faintly). The peat subsides a little. (21/25)


Neat – Spirity, sweet peat, quite hot. Young. Peat, peat, and more peat. Not much else. 21/25

With water – flavours become more intense. Strong peat, sweet, still hot, with increased citrus, saltiness and some mint in the background. (22/25)

Finish: dry, astringent, ash tray. The dryness lasts a long time 21/25

Balance: No balance, it’s all peat. 20/25

Score: Neat - 83/100 With Water: 84 /100

You have to really be in a mood for peat to enjoy this one. It is certainly not what I would call a complex whisky, but for those looking for a peat overload this one should satisfy. For me, this is something that I’m likely to enjoy with friends who have not tried it rather than reach for it often on my own, because I prefer more complexity with my peat and most of the CS peat monsters I own (Cairdeas, QC, Amrut, Tempest, laimrig, Uigeadail) have more to offer.

I'll try this again. @Nozinan. I had the 40% version of this a few years ago and it was absolutely awful. The consensus was that it was very young, very poor Bowmore. This CS version sounds quite a bit better, but still not deserving of any cabinet space. Thanks for the very useful review.

If you have a chance to try the CS Finlaggan I'm sure you will find it a dramatically different and better Islay IB than the Ileach. That one was well known to be young Lagavulin and young Lags are generally pretty darn good.

I actually came back to this today. Not sure my palate is completely recovered from whatever was ailing it last week so I went with something uncomplicated and bold.

Owe 1.5 hours it opened up a bit. The citrusy and mint notes were quite prominent, and it still gives a peat blast 6 months after opening (still 2/3 full - I think I only opened it once, MAYBE twice since the summit).


This bottle has been opened over a year. I dacanted the rest of it into a 200ml jar to preserve the flavor. I pour about 30ml in the glass and add two drops of water to do this review.

Nose: Clear and forward, nothing attacking. Tobacco, bacon, lemon peel, smoky sausage, peat and sea wind.

Taste: Full body. Warm and intriguing, there are clearly some sweetness of sherry cask. Peat, pears, wild honey, milk chocolate, black pepper, brine and ash.

Finish: Heaty and smoky, like smoking a pipe by the sea shore. Sea salt, gasoline, leather, barely, and peat.

Balance: Mellow down nicely, not so heavy as it used to be, and the roughness is gone.

In my opinion this whisky is a good bargain. With little money you can get a traditional Islay cask strength whisky which tastes really nice, also I believe it came from Lagavulin as the rumors says. Those Islay lovers can give it a try, but I think I will move on to something with more depth and twist. This is a decent whisky with not much surprise, I prefer Lagavulin 16 yo to this.


The name is self explanatory. The version at drinking strength was more than okay. This one has a cask strength of 58%, which is considerate. No word on the distillery, although many believe it to be a young Lagavulin. I am not so sure.

Undoubtedly many sherry casks were used in the mix, for besides seaweeds and peat, this nose also offers quite some fruit and even chocolate. Pears and apricots, followed by figs and dades. Then the peat returns and adds goat cheese and wet earth. A touch medicinal, but not overly so. You know those dades that are wrapped in bacon? Yep, that’s it, but in liquid form.

It is mouth coating with a good body. Immediately very powerful peat and spices with loads of maritime elements (my brain shouts ‘Laphroaig!’). Then the fruit kicks in. Wonderfully sweet, making this whisky quite complex. I am impressed.

The long finish is warm and lingers with a battle between sweet and salt. It leaves the mouth as good as completely dry.

Very pleasant surprise. Around 45 EUR, which is absolutely great fort his quality. Thanks, Pat!

@markjedi1 You mentionned Lagavulin and Laphroaig but although I only have a sip of the regular one, I would go for Bowmore myself. There was some funky blackcurrants buds that I catch a lot recently but never as much as with the Bowmore.What I call blackcurrant buds is a bit like a heather more vegetal and less woody and sometime with a bitter note in the background. I assume you don't have this. I also assume that the dates are a benefit of the cask strenght and the sugar that comes with it as I don't remember a rich fruity note like that in the regular.

Anyway, it sounds interesting and much better than what I remember of the regular. Thanks for another great review.

Another excellent review Mark. Interesting that you think it's Laphroaig, first time I tried it I thought Lagavulin , then Ardbeg and finally Laphroaig. I buy mine now from van Zuylen in Holland where its sold as 5 year old Lagavulin but whatever it is I find it one of the best BFYB whiskies there is.


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.

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.

@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?

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