The Ileach Cask Strength vs Peaty
Here are a couple of reasonably priced Islay whiskies that I have somehow missed over the years. These are from an undisclosed Islay distillery, but I have it from good authority that we are talking about young and feisty whisky from Lagavulin Distillery. The Independent Bottler behind these products is the Vintage Malt Company Co Ltd, or as it says on the actual bottles - The Highlands & Islands Scotch Whisky Co. Ltd). They apparently entered into a long term contract with Lagavulin back in the day when the single malt boom had not yet hit. Not sure they would have been able to make such a deal with Diageo today, and the contract is probably nearing its end now.
The name The Ileach means 'The Man from Islay', or rather an Ileach is a person from the island of Islay. I have been there, I know they are not all men.
The Ileach Peaty, NAS, 40 %
Nose (21/25): Mild smoke, smoked sausages, caramel and salted peanuts.
Taste (20/25): Wood smoke and caramel. The mouth-feel is rather thin and watery.
Finish (19/25): Caramel and smoke, medium length.
Balance (19/25): It lacks heart really. Nothing wrong, per se, but it feels a bit empty. A bit meh!
The Ileach Cask Strength, NAS, 58 %
Now for the cask strength version. This is also a NAS, but I have seen speculation online giving the age at around 7-8 years. I do not know if this is true, but I believe it is not far off target.
The Ileach Cask Strength is available to buy in Norway at NOK 775 (item number 9053301). It appears to not be available in Sweden - strange as the Swedes do love their peaty whisky. Oh well, more for us!
Nose (22/25): Warm, with massive peat and wood fire! Broth and smoked sausages, barbecue sauce and caramel. It's like cooking sausages over open fire in the middle of a recently burnt down forest. Oh, and it certainly did rain during the forest fire as well...
Taste (22/25): The broth cooking, smoked sausages now have pepper as seasoning. The smoke is drying up a bit, but the mouth-feel is a bit oily. Motor oil?
Finish (21/25): Rich and full. More monotonous to taste now - mainly caramel and peat smoke.
Balance (22/25): Wow! This is more like it! Lot's of fire, body and omph!