There may be two or more, they may be from the same or different distilleries, similar ages, ABVs and types or not as I decide!
This time we are reviewing three different drams from Caol Ila distillery, a young one from Morrison & MacKay, a distillery bottling matured in a Moscatel cask and a Berry Bros & Rudd bottling, what difference is there?
|Dram||The Big Strand (NAS) - Morrison & MacKay||Caol Ila - The Distillers Edition 2001 - 12yo||Caol Ila - Berrys' Own Selection 1996 -12 yo|
|Characteristics||46% ABV, Non-coloured, NCF||43% ABV, Coloured, Chillfiltered||56.7% ABV, Non-coloured, Chillfiltered, Cask strength, Single cask|
|Distillery info||None!||Richly flavoured yet also drying and finely balanced, the Moscatel cask wood is not over evident in this double-matured Caol Ila.|
Nose: Wonderfully concentrated and clean, peaty, medicinal, with rich fruit, spicy and fragrant.
Palate: Sweet maltiness strike first, then overwhelmed by peat smoke, intense, crisp flavours, and cinnamon spice.
Finish: Long, rounded, robust and multi-layered.
|None that I could find.|
Almost transparent, swirls tear up, slow thin legs
Very pale gold, swirls tear up, slow fat legs
Pale gold, swirls lead to fast thin legs
|Nose||Mild smoke, some orchard fruit||Bonfire smoke, sweet honey||Mild smoke, vanilla|
|Palate||Surprisingly sweet, light smoke, spicy bite||Very sweet, honey, strawberries, almost like a dessert wine, spicy||Smooth smoky arrival, honey, red fruit, hides it's high ABV well. Sweet dessert wine notes|
|Finish||Short, spicy, warming||Grapefruit notes, smoke warming||Long, spicy, smoky|
|Overall||An unusual trio of drams, the Big Strand was a surprise - surprisingly nice - a typical Islay smokey dram - lovely! The own bottling was a real strange one - far too sweet for me, then when I tried the Berry Bros. I got similar underlying notes of sweetness, back to the Strand and that had some in there too.|
I can't remember any sweetness in my tasting of the standard Caol Ila 12yo and didn't get the oiliness form the 12yo in any of these - interesting!
Overall I'd recommend all of the drams, but only try the last two if you like sweet drams - of course there's nothing wrong with the basic 12yo!
All of these were drample swaps with friends! Thanks to @gavsdrams for the Big Strand, @ocdwhisky for the Distillers Edition & @GregsWhiskyG for the Berry Bros.