Fourth day of the competition and finally we get a peated whisky. But before we jump into the instant obvious conclusion, are we sure it’s an Islay peated one or not? You just can’t trust the organizers… 🙂
Below you’ll find my notes (Nose/Palate/Finish) as written before the bottle revelation but here’s what I guessed it to be and why:
I went for Caol Ila 18yo 463% . It’s peated but there’s no harsh peat and ashes so I believe it’s not a southern Islay distillery (single casks aside). Also no a Kilchoman or bowmore (didn’t feel any tropical fruits). The profile reminded me my old Caol Ila 12 that got tired over time and losing some of the peat punch so I decided to go with the older version of 18yo as the age helps mellowing the peat and strengthen the sweet notes from the casks. It also didn’t feel too strong and I felt it’s a 43-46% one, and CI 18yo fits the bill. I debated with myself it may be some Ledaig, but decided to stick with Caol Ila. I have probably made a fool of myself with this guess 🙂
Update: Ouch! It’s Ledaig, young one and high ABV so again zero points and going down the score ledge 😦
Ledaig 2005 Whisky-Fässle 8 yo (53.3%)
Nose: Sweet earthly peat, oily yet fresh, sweet honey & fruits (peaches?), dash of vanilla, almost no smoke, spirit/newmake whiff (or maybe were those bread dough/malt whiffs?), mineral edge. After a while, more smoke is noticeable in one glass while still retaining sweetness and very round/gentle form. In the other glass it suddenly felt sharper (like higher ABV) and also more mineral/salt and tons of sweet fruits with sweet peat.
Palate: Peat, some smoke and very little ashes, sweet, marinate, mineral, oak, pepper, full bodied.
Finish: medium with lingering sweet peat, mild oak wood spices and smokier on sips taken after a few minutes.
Thoughts: A real surprise. very mature for its age. Sweet, fruity and peat. great combo.