It’s Caol Ila‘s Open Day today and here’s a review of one of their more unusual whiskies.

The standard expressions are typical of Islay, containing a good balance of sweetness with the punch of peat smoke; Moch is a little different.

Meaning ‘dawn’ in Gaelic, Moch is a lighter expression which has a bit less smoke than the standard 12 year old. It carries no age statement (though is around 8 years old) and is bottled at 43% ABV.

Colour

Pale straw.

Nose

Quite a light nose. A little peat smoke and some salt but also contains a pleasant cream and some soft lemon.

As the whisky opens up, a malty biscuit sweetness appears.

Flavour

Consistent with the nose, the flavour starts with a light oiliness and restrained smoke. Lemon and vanilla cream appears before a slightly TCP tingle leads into a fairly short finish.

The sweetness disappears first, followed by the smoke shortly afterwards.

Adding some water reveals a bit more of the lemon sweetness, but seems to knock it out of balance a bit. Much better neat.

Overall

Caol Ila Moch is a pleasant dram which offers a much more gentle flavour profile than other Islay malts.

It’s not the most complex dram in the world, but feels very well balanced and would be a fantastic introduction to Islay malts for a beginner; peated but not enough to scare them off.

One to look out for, but don’t pay too much for it – I picked this up from the distillery for £35 last year, but I’ve seen it being priced at over £50.

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