This spring sees the dawn of a new expression of Caol Ila, the famous Single Malt Scotch Whisky made on the east coast of Islay since the distillery was founded by Hector Henderson in 1846.
Caol Ila has released a new bottling specially for the Friends of the Classic Malts.
It is called Caol Ila Moch (meaning Dawn in Gaelic) Single Malt Scotch Whisky and is the latest exciting addition to the Caol Ila family. It is the first single malt from the distillery to be selected entirely on the basis of its taste, rather than age, cask wood, strength or finish.
Islay’s east coast is the first on the island to see the dawn, just as it is the first – shielded by Cnoc Dubh, the Black Hill behind the distillery – to receive the night as the sun sinks in the Atlantic on the far side of the island.
The Whisky Exchange described Caol Ila Moch: “A hugely enjoyable romp through Islay’s middle ground. … Caol Ila Moch is a joy, it’s as simple as that. …”
And the cask-strength bloggers said: “An absolute delight …It’s consistent and totally moreish.”
Dave Broom tweeted: “Whisky Live London a pleasant memory … Best in show? Caol Ila Moch & Hazelburn Sauternes. …Seek it out by joining Friends of the Classic Malts.”
As Billy Stitchell, long-time distillery manager at Caol Ila, says: “Moch is selected for taste rather than age, and you’ll still find it every inch a Caol Ila. It’s a new departure for us, to have a whisky that’s not defined by age or strength or finish, but by taste, and it’s an exciting development.”
And why ‘Moch’? Billy said: “I’m an early riser, so for me, a day starts just before dawn. But this place is full of atmosphere at all times of day. The western light is something special and this far north we get wonderful sunsets over the hills and especially, clear dawn light flooding across the Sound, which is what came to mind when we were looking for a name for Moch.“
Caol Ila Moch is bottled at 43% ABV and carries no age statement.
Appearance: Pale gold. Good viscosity.
Nose: Unreduced, clean and fresh like wet, salty sand after the tide has receded. Some smoke behind, as from an old bonfire. Adding a little water brings up more freshness.
Palate: Unreduced, sweet and salty with a balancing acidity, and fresh as a sea breeze. The trademark clean and smoky character of Caol Ila is here. Appetising. Adding water gives a smoother, softer, sweeter feel, still very maritime, with a nice texture. Sweetly drying overall.
Medium bodied, elegant and smooth.
Finish: Quite short, drying and warming with a little bitterness. Lingering smoky aftertaste.
Summary: An absolutely straightforward, no nonsense Caol Ila. Crisp, assertive, direct, and unmistakeable.
Also available in the Caol Ila range are Caol Ila 12 year old, Caol Ila 18 year old, Caol Ila 25 year old, Caol Ila Distillers Edition and Caol Ila Cask Strength.
They can all be viewed here: Caol Ila.