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Kilchoman 4 year old for Single Cask Nation – Cask 378/07

I finally got my hands on the initial whisky release from Single Cask Nation and as a Founding member, boy, was it a wait (2/20/12 was when I signed up)…. but ultimately worth it.

Truth be told, I had the option to pick as my first bottle the 4 year old Kilchoman or the 12 year old Arran. And as much as I like both distilleries, I just had to go with the former.

Anyways, nosing the Kilchoman 4 year old is pleasurable. The label says 58.4% ABV, but I can’t really tell. My nose hairs aren’t singed. Still, it has the typical, sweet aroma. There’s notes of lemon pine sol, vanilla, cereal grain, wet leather shoe laces, and fresh peat. That peat becomes very apparent on the palate. There’s also hints of used tires. As this scotch goes down my gullet, my tongue remains coated which seems like forever. It’s always in the end where the cask strength character shines.

Delicious. I’m going to pour myself another.

Initial grade: A- / B+

Link: Single Cask Nation

Caol Ila 10 year old by Berry Bros and Rudd – Casks 309796 and 309881

I was at Total Wine the other day to replenish my whisky stock when I came across this 10 year old Caol Ila bottled by famed wine and spirits merchants, Berry Bros and Rudd. At a penny under $70, it represented an outstanding deal, especially for a cask strength (58.5%) from one of my favorite distilleries.

I love the natural, pale color. Just looking at it, I prepped for fruity (pears or apple) and vanilla notes, which I got on the nose. I also experienced unlit match sticks, cardboard, permanent marker fumes, and hay. The initial taste was a bit harsh which is expected for such a young and cask strength whisky. Letting it interact with the air for a bit, this dram did mellow out some. Still, it was one of the savoriest Caol Ilas that I’ve ever had. There was a lot of peat that coated the tongue, and it took forever for the alcohol to evaporate – ultra long long finish.

I gave it a B rating. It’s definitely worth picking up, especially for the price.

Link: Caol Ila

Laphroaig 10 Cask Strength

I’m going to start this blog by telling you about,while also drinking, my favorite Scotch whisky, Laphroaig 10 Cask Strength. It’s a lot like the standard 10 year old, but better, primarily because, as its name implies, it was bottled right out of American oak barrels.

Hailing from the island of Islay, Laphroaig 10 Cask Strength is, in a word, AWESOME.

I love everything about it – the complexly sweet, sea-salty, medicinal nose, the peaty taste, and the extra long, smoky finish.

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