The OCUK Whisky (and Whiskey) review thread

Soldato
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Thanks for all the advice on my next bottle, ended up buying the one I'd been eyeing up for a while anyway, the Caol Ila, but plenty of options for the next next one. :)
 
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Caol ila is a nice whisky. IIRC a lot of their output goes into JW black so it doesn't get as much volume to do big runs of aged bottlings but what they do release tends to be good. Every now and then they do a low/un-peated and those are really fun. I got to try the 2017+2018 versions and they were quite something. Each slightly different, one a bit white chocolatey.
 
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Caol ila is a nice whisky. IIRC a lot of their output goes into JW black so it doesn't get as much volume to do big runs of aged bottlings but what they do release tends to be good. Every now and then they do a low/un-peated and those are really fun. I got to try the 2017+2018 versions and they were quite something. Each slightly different, one a bit white chocolatey.

JW Green was surprisingly nice - got some last year for £25ish which I thought was a bargain for a 15 year old vatted malt.
 
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Keep us informed!

Wow, that's different! :eek:

Just having my second glass, the first was a shock to the system, TCP/antiseptic and a little smoke, added some water and it was much better.

Second glass going down much better, still with a touch of water, starting to quite enjoy it.
 
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Wow, that's different! :eek:

Just having my second glass, the first was a shock to the system, TCP/antiseptic and a little smoke, added some water and it was much better.

Second glass going down much better, still with a touch of water, starting to quite enjoy it.

As the whisky gets more air the taste can change a bit. So as you continue down the bottle,or keep it in the glass for a bit it will probably mellow out a bit.
 
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Wow, that's different! :eek:

Just having my second glass, the first was a shock to the system, TCP/antiseptic and a little smoke, added some water and it was much better.

Second glass going down much better, still with a touch of water, starting to quite enjoy it.
A word of warning, don't always expect adding water to peated whiskies will take the edge off how peaty they smell and taste, it can actually have the opposite effect. It's more likely to happen with higher abv whiskies 46%+, but again that also isn't always the case. I won't bore you with the details of why it happens, but just give you a heads up in case you come across it as I've seen people drown their whisky thinking they just haven't added enough water when it occurs.
 
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A word of warning, don't always expect adding water to peated whiskies will take the edge off how peaty they smell and taste, it can actually have the opposite effect. It's more likely to happen with higher abv whiskies 46%+, but again that also isn't always the case. I won't bore you with the details of why it happens, but just give you a heads up in case you come across it as I've seen people drown their whisky thinking they just haven't added enough water when it occurs.

Good tip, I'll remember that one.

The third glass was better again, had that one neat and really enjoyed it, perhaps i just need to be tipsy to appreciate it? :cry:

On a side note, we took the dog to Cambois beach this morning, and the seaside smelt almost exactly the same as the Caol Ila...
 
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A word of warning, don't always expect adding water to peated whiskies will take the edge off how peaty they smell and taste, it can actually have the opposite effect. It's more likely to happen with higher abv whiskies 46%+, but again that also isn't always the case. I won't bore you with the details of why it happens, but just give you a heads up in case you come across it as I've seen people drown their whisky thinking they just haven't added enough water when it occurs.

I'm intrigued why does it do that? Presumably some chemistry thing due to the complex molecules in peated whiskies?
 
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I'm intrigued why does it do that? Presumably some chemistry thing due to the complex molecules in peated whiskies?

The taste is determined by chemical compounds and adding water changes the soluability of them,especially NCF whiskies. Long chain esters especially can be quite water insoluble.
Chilling Filtering is done to remove some of these compounds as they precipitate out as the ABV drops(which adding water will do),so it could be the taste changes since the compounds are moving out of solution and settling out?
 
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Good tip, I'll remember that one.

The third glass was better again, had that one neat and really enjoyed it, perhaps i just need to be tipsy to appreciate it? :cry:

On a side note, we took the dog to Cambois beach this morning, and the seaside smelt almost exactly the same as the Caol Ila...

I drove to caol ila distillery once and got there to find it closed for maintenance. Never did get to go round it. Like most Ila distilleries it is on the coast but the taste is mainly due to the malt and peating and stills used. I don't think they store barrels much on site anymore. I find Laphroaig worse in terms of TCP. Seaweed however I can see where you're coming from
 
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I drove to caol ila distillery once and got there to find it closed for maintenance. Never did get to go round it. Like most Ila distilleries it is on the coast but the taste is mainly due to the malt and peating and stills used. I don't think they store barrels much on site anymore. I find Laphroaig worse in terms of TCP. Seaweed however I can see where you're coming from

Rumours are that Laphroaig 16 and similar older whiskies are going to have some big price increases this year.
 
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I drove to caol ila distillery once and got there to find it closed for maintenance. Never did get to go round it. Like most Ila distilleries it is on the coast but the taste is mainly due to the malt and peating and stills used. I don't think they store barrels much on site anymore. I find Laphroaig worse in terms of TCP. Seaweed however I can see where you're coming from
Indeed, very few distilleries' casks are actually stored on Islay. Some keep a few there to say that some whisky in the bottle was aged on Islay. Lots just distil it there, then tanker off the spirit to the mainland where it's casked and stored.
 
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I'm intrigued why does it do that? Presumably some chemistry thing due to the complex molecules in peated whiskies?
Basically the phenolic compounds are in solution in the alcohol, the water releases oils and brings them out of solution. Needless to say it's more complicated than that, but that's the gist of it.
 
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Hi all

Never really had much whiskey before, what would you all recommend for someone like me wanting to move away from lager and cider to the odd whiskey now and then?

Cheers

What kind of flavours do you like? Smoky? Sweet? Floral? Cereal? Etc.

The world of whisky is incredibly subjective.
 
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Start with a basic/nice blend and see if you can get on with it. If not don't spend too much on anything as it might not be your thing. If you like it then start looking at tasting sets of single malts to help see where your interests lie.
 
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What kind of flavours do you like? Smoky? Sweet? Floral? Cereal? Etc.

The world of whisky is incredibly subjective.

More of a sweeter taste would be for me I think, what brands would you recommend?

Start with a basic/nice blend and see if you can get on with it. If not don't spend too much on anything as it might not be your thing. If you like it then start looking at tasting sets of single malts to help see where your interests lie.

What sort of one's would you recommend with a little sweetness to it? Also do you mix it with anything?
 
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More of a sweeter taste would be for me I think, what brands would you recommend?



What sort of one's would you recommend with a little sweetness to it? Also do you mix it with anything?
Are you dead set on scotch, or are you interested in whiskies in general? As I'd normally suggest bourbon if you want sweet. Buffalo Trace is one you can often pick up from Amazon for £18 on offer, so isn't breaking the bank if you don't like it. And you can always make old fashioned cocktails with it if you don't like it neat. Just beware at the moment as Amazon have a half bottle of it for £18, that's not the one to go for, make sure it's the 70cl bottle. It's £23 at the moment, but as I say it is very often on offer for a fair bit less.

The problem with recommending scotch to people new to it is there is such a vast array of taste profiles, it's hard to narrow it down, plus good ones tend to be a bit more expensive, which can be off putting to a lot of people. But if you do want to try one Tomatin Legacy is £24 on Amazon just now and may be something you'd like. Monkey Shoulder is another you can pick up relatively cheaply, it's a blended malt though, rather than a single malt. Johnnie Walker Black Label (a standard blend) when you can get it for £20, or Green Label (another blended malt, but this one is 15 years old, at least) when you can get it for under £30 are all worth trying. They may not be the very best, but they are decent and good value for money at those prices. You just need to be patient and pick them up when they are discounted, which again is quite often.

But the Buffalo Trace or Tomatin Legacy would be my suggestions to start with.
 
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