Wednesday, 27 March 2013

Ileach - head to head

the happy couple
In honour of world whisky day, I decided to have a head-to-head with two whiskies from the same label. From the many choices of samples I have in my cabinet, I chose to compare two versions of the Ileach, a whisky distilled on the Scottish island Islay.

Although it is kept secret what whisky is in the bottle, many sources mention it is probably a young bottling of Lagavullin or a Laphroaig, although I personally miss the iodine on the nose for it to be a Laphroaig. Looking at the bottle it could very well be a Diageo production, since it has strong similarities towards the standard bottle Diageo uses for a lot of their products, opening the door for an "out of profile" Caol Ila. Other distilleries are very unlikely; Ardbeg, Bowmore, Bruichladdich and Bunnahabhain because of tast profile, Kilchoman because of the many young available whiskies, and the fact that they were unable to bottle a whisky in 2007.

the Ileach
40% abv

A young nose, having notes of peat, sweat, overripe banana and leather. The taste has several fruits, mainly bananas, peat, brine and is quite harsh - from the young age. A long finish has peat, smoke and ash, but not the unpleasantness of a full ashtray, like some other, unnamed Islay whiskies tend to have.
Pretty nice, firm dram, without strong scents or tastes that don't belong. At the same time this also makes it not a special dram, having me decide not to but a bottle, when other Islay single malts or Islay blends are available.

the Ileach - Cask Strength
58% abv, non chill-filtered, natural colour

Just like the 'weaker' little sister, the nose is clearly young and peaty. Besides that, there are spicy (pepper) notes together with bananas, mint, leather and sawdust. The taste is also very peaty and spicy, it has some honey, red peppers, some briny-ness and is a bit harsh and young. A long, spicy (red peppers) peaty and smoky finish awaits.
Good stuff. Not very different, but it has my preference over the 'standard' version.

A native of the Scottish island of Islay is called an Ileach. The choice for the name has been chosen because the whisky is descended from Islay, but it has been kept secret which distillery is responsible for the contents of the bottle.

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