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Tasting the new Caol Ila ‘Moch’

25 March 2011 1,818 views Written by: Gal Granov

It was only a question of time until  Diageo’s turn to hop on the NAS bandwagon, and release an expression with a nice Gaelic sound to it, wasn’t it? So, it’s here, the new Caol Ila ‘Moch’ (meaning: dawn in Gaelic).

It’s not everyday that Caol Ila releases a new OB and this one got good reviews from bloggers and whisky sites who tasted it recently. I was quite keen on trying this one out…

So what is so different about this expression? First, as i noted, it’s a NAS bottling which means it’s probably younger than the entry level 12 year old Caol Ila we all know (and which i consider to be a lovely dram, despite the “bon ton” to trash OB Caol Ilas and say they are not as good as an equivalent Laphraoig or Ardbeg). In addition this one is supposed to be less ‘peaty’ and smoky than the ‘regular’ OBs, some kind of a Caol Ila counterpart to the Infamous Ardbeg Blasda.

Malts.com (Diageo’s site) says:

Taking its name from the Gaelic for ‘dawn’, Moch is a wonderful newcomer from this renowned distillery. It is the first single malt from Caol Ila to be selected for taste alone: sweet, smooth and lightly smoky, unconstrained by age, cask wood, strength or finish.

To nose, it’s clean, appetising and shows subtle citrus fruit with just a puff of smoke. Smooth and pleasant in the mouth, it begins sweetly then yields a fragrant smokiness then a delicious sweet-smoky, lingering finish.

Let’s check out how this dram really is…

moch

Caol Ila Moch, 43% , NAS

Nose: Citrus notes among coastal maritime notes of sea spray, fruit and gentle smoke.

Palate: Sweet entry, than a wave of smoke comes in! smoked bacon, a bit of rubber, peat, and malty-sweet cereals.

Finish : Medium on smoke, cereals and malt.

Bottom line

lighter and less aggressive than the 12, yet round and nice! A lovely entry point people getting acquainted with Islay malts, and a very drinkable Islay, with a lot of smoke, but lighter on the rubber medicinal notes.

Score: 85/100

sincere thanks to GJ for the sample.

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  • http://whiskybrother.com Marc (WhiskyBrother)

    Diageo: “It is the first single malt from Caol Ila to be selected for taste alone”… WTF does that mean, how have they selected the rest of their range then? The marketing BS engine at work again.

    Nice review Gal, I’m really a fan of Caol Ila so looking forward to trying this release if I ever find it. Unfortunately I still have no idea which markets its been released in and if its a ‘limited’ release or part of their core range.

    • http://www.whiskyisrael.co.il Gal(WhiskyIsrael)

      WTF big time. like they selected the rest just by the age, if it tasted bad, who the f#@ck cares?
      diageo… go figure.

      this is a nice one, leave alone all the Marketing BS.

      for now it’s to be found mostly in europe (germany,NL) so i hear. some online shops carry it but not the big ones (lfw,twe,MoM)

      cheers Marc.

      • http://gjr71.wordpress.com GJR71

        Well It is getting difficult to find a bottle over here (Netherlands) too. I’m hearing from different store that it is sold out. I also picked up a rumour that they will bring out a next batch of Moch, but if this is true, I don’t know. The shops can’t order any more so the stock is getting low and your correct: Is officialy a German release, but was also available in the surrounding country’s on the European Mainland. Lucky me !!

  • johan brugge

    A Dutch friend of mine gave me this bottle early this week for my birthday and that same evening I popped the cork. I will post my detailed notes a bit later because I only had one dram but I can describe it as follows: a mellow, gently peated, smoky, creamy full bodied dram with some citrus hints. It reminds me of a ‘light’ version of my Caol Ila Cask Strength. I liked it that much I ordered a spare bottle yesterday.

    • http://www.whiskyisrael.co.il Gal(WhiskyIsrael)

      Well put Johan!
      Wish i could get a bottle of this too. but it’s not available online where I shop.

  • johan brugge

    Here are my notes.

    Nose: Straight away that typical Caol Ila citrus flavour, followed by smoke and peat (but it’s not very dominant), medicinal and slightly maritime (salty too). I find the citrus flavours to be quite dominant and very present without water being added. With some water there is less smoke but the lemons and peat are still present.

    Palate: Smoky (more than in the nose), citrus, oily-like, creamy, gently peated and some wood. With a bit of water it becomes very thick. You almost have to chew on it, but it doesn’t change much to the flavours.

    Finish: Quite long, slightly smoky and salty. The citrus flavours are still there but more on the background now. Just a bit of liquorice after a few minutes. With water there is more smoke, salt and peat but less citrus. Some tannines too.

    It’s like my Caol Ila Cask Strength when I’ve deluted it with some water. Can’t be bad.

    • http://www.whiskyisrael.co.il Gal(WhiskyIsrael)

      Thanks!

  • Gillesfleuret

    This wisky was for me the beautiful surprise of the live whiskey Paris, simply excellent in my taste

    • http://www.whiskyisrael.co.il Gal(WhiskyIsrael)

      Thank you for commenting Gilles. Indeed, this is a fine dram. how was WL paris?

      • Gillesfleuret – france

        Very beautiful edition, certainly the best that I made, in a magnificent frame. As for the liquid not of big surprise for my . Finally one broom Dave’s dedication for the atlas of the whiskey.
        http://www.whiskylive.com/france/8/paris-2011
        Saddened for my English!!!!