August 2019: Cask Strength Bunnahabhain

Bunnahabhain

After recent trip to Scotland, Flight Club members Lee BullockScott Hill, and Christopher Crow wanted to try and recreate an experience from their favorite Scotch distillery – Bunnahabhain.

At the Bunnahabhain distillery, they had the opportunity to taste five cask strength barrels pulled directly from the barrel.  Our tasting lineup featured four bottles at cask strength and a bottle from Bunnahabhain’s signature line.

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Ardbeg Day and Reviews (Ardbeg 10, An Oa, Kelpie, Uigeadail and Correyvrekan)

Ardbeg is an Islay Single Malt Scotch Whisky brand located on the island of Islay and renowned for its complex but smoky flavors.

The distillery of the same name dates back to 1815, when it was first licensed, although it operated for several decades unlicensed before that. For much of the next two centuries, Ardbeg focused primarily on producing components for blended whiskies.   But like many of Scotland’s storied distilleries, Ardbeg reduced and ultimately stopped production in the 1980’s, and remained (essentially) closed until Glenmorangie purchased and reopened the distillery in the late 1990’s.  Since its reopening, the distillery now focuses on Single Malt Whisky.

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2015 End of the Year Bottle 2: Caol Ila 18-year

Paired with the Port Ellen, we also tasted another Islay Scotch – the Caol Ila 18-year

Located on the eastern coast of the Islay region in Scotland just across the straight from Jura, Caol Ila can trace its roots back to 1846.  However, the current large-production distillery, sitting on the site of the original distillery, was completed just over 40 years ago.   Expansion was warranted as Coal Ila positioned itself to a supplier for outside blenders.   Not surprisingly,  it is now owned by Diageo.

Caol Ila is often known as one of the more approachable Islay whiskies, which are known for their extreme smoked peat character.  Caol Ila’s offerings, however, often soften the harsh smoke with floral, peppery and fruity notes.  Because of this softer approach to smoke and peat, much of Caol Ila’s production is used by Diageo in other branded blends (like Johnnie Walker) or sold to outside blended scotch producers.

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