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Ben Nevis Distillery Caol Ila Distillery Càrn Mòr Glentauchers Distillery Highlands Region Independent Bottlers Island of Islay Linkwood Distillery Morrison Distillers Old Pulteney Distillery Scotland Speyside Region Whisky from 50 to 100 euros

Càrn Mòr Vertical

Review of the latest releases from independent bottler Càrn Mòr.

Thanks to a recent tasting in collaboration with Fabio Ermoli of Lost Dram, I had the chance to try a good part of the new releases from independent bottler Càrn Mòr (only Glenlossie is missing), while the next ones are ready to reach the shops: you can’t say they’re sitting on their hands!
They all come from the Strictly Limited series, bottled at 47.5%ABV so as to guarantee, as explained by Ermoli, the non-opalescence of the whisky: the technical gradation would be 46%ABV, the Morrisons choose that extra degree and a half to ensure that there are no imbalances.
As these are limited editions, I decided not to dedicate an article to every single bottle but to collect them all together, while they are still available.

Càrn Mòr Ben Nevis 2015 (6yo)

Origin: Highlands (Scotland)
Type: Single Malt Scotch Whisky
Gradation: 47.5%ABV
Ageing cask: Ex-Sherry hogshead
Chillfiltered: No
Added coloring: No
Owner: Morrison Distillers
Average price: € 55,00
Official website: www.morrisondistillers.com
Vote: 84/100

Tasting notes

Gold with copper highlights in the glass.
The nose has a woody profile that crosses notes of barbecue sauce, with balsamic veins on burnt pine cones and wood, blood orange, cloves, mulled wine and Catalan cream. Very fat and ‘solid’, it also expresses veins of burnt rubber.
The alcohol is very present (but not invasive) on the palate, accentuating the toasted sylvan aspect together with the citrus fruits, to which tamarind, malt, sweet liquorice and fondant impressions are added. Tannic and dry, especially in length.
Long, dry finish of ash, liquorice, citrus, burnt honey.

A muscular whisky, not very prone to subtlety, which as such can be excessive and repelling. Its exuberant bravado is nevertheless amusing and requires attention to avoid unexpected punches in the face. A carefree but not superficial dram.

Reviews of Ben Nevis whisky in the blog:
Ben Nevis 10yo
Cadenhead’s Ben Nevis 21yo
Chorlton Whisky Ben Nevis 23yo
Dràm Mòr Ben Nevis 2012 9yo
Dramfool Ben Nevis 1996
That Boutique-y Whisky Company Ben Nevis 23yo Batch 10
Wilson & Morgan Ben Nevis 7yo (2013-2020)


Càrn Mòr Caol Ila 2012 (8yo)

Origin: Isle of Islay (Scotland)
Type: Single Malt Scotch Whisky
Gradation: 47.5%ABV
Ageing cask: Ex-Sherry Oloroso butt
Chillfiltered: No
Added coloring: No
Owner: Morrison Distillers
Average price: € 55,00
Official website: www.morrisondistillers.com
Vote: 83/100

Tasting notes

Light amber in the glass.
Caol Ila’s signature is evident from the first olfactory approach, with pickled olives introducing a sweet and salty profile, where fruity notes (peach, baked apple, orange) are accompanied by liquorice, roasted peanuts, caramel, burnt honey, lemon drop. Candied orange peel. A wisp of smoke embraces the aromas.
In the mouth the sensations resume, with the ripe orange that takes the proscenium together with cloves, pepper, ginger, baked apple (at times strudel), licorice, olives pâté. Smoked herring.
The finish isn’t very long and saline, of liquorice, blood orange, ash.

A very classic Caol Ila, almost by the book, with just a few edges due to its age, which offers a reassuring and pleasant dram without any jolts or particular emotions. This is a solid, pleasant but not memorable dram.

Reviews of Caol Ila whisky in the blog:
A&G Rare Cask Selection Caol Ila 10yo
Cadenhead’s Caol Ila 30yo
Caol Ila 12yo
Caol Ila 18yo
Caol Ila 18yo Unpeated 2017
Caol Ila Distillers Edition 2018
Caol Ila Moch
Caol Ila Natural Cask Strength
Dramfool Cola Ali 4
Dramfool Cola Ali 5
Dream N°2
Golden Drops Caol Ila 8yo
Gordon&MacPhail Reserve Caol Ila 2008
Morisco Spirits Caol Ila 11yo
Signatory Caol Ila 1994 Port Wood Finish
The Islay Star 11yo
Valinch & Mallet Caol Ila 11yo
Wilson & Morgan Caol Ila 2008-2020 Quercus Alba


Càrn Mòr Glentauchers 2011 (9yo)

Origin: Speyside (Scotland)
Type: Single Malt Scotch Whisky
Gradation: 47.5%ABV
Ageing cask: Ex-Sherry Oloroso butt
Chillfiltered: No
Added coloring: No
Owner: Morrison Distillers
Average price: € 55,00
Official website: www.morrisondistillers.com
Vote: 82/100

Amber in the glass.
The nose is floral and woody at the same time, evoking those violet drawer wood scents. Soon the aromas become warmer and more intense, of red apple, ripe plum, dried figs, toasted almonds, nutmeg, milk chocolate. Balsamic vinegar. Enveloping.
Vinous in the mouth, with a pleasantly acidic streak that cleans the mouth between sips, on a carpet of black pepper leaves impressions of blood orange, plums, sultanas, nutmeg, licorice. The balsamic vein returns, albeit muted, with a certain woody veil.
The finish is quite long and spicy, with liquorice, orange, wood and camphor.

A classic sherried whisky, not particularly incisive, more interesting on the nose than on the palate, which passes without much emotion.


Càrn Mòr Linkwood 2008 (12yo)

Origin: Speyside (Scotland)
Type: Single Malt Scotch Whisky
Gradation: 47.5%ABV
Ageing cask: Ex-Sherry PX hogshead
Chillfiltered: No
Added coloring: No
Owner: Morrison Distillers
Average price: € 65,00
Official website: www.morrisondistillers.com
Vote: 85/100

Copper in the glass.
A very citrusy and fresh olfactory profile, with delicate herbaceous notes of mandarin, citron, nutmeg, peach, pineapple and brazil nut. A subtle waxy streak also emerges along the length.
Nicely peppery on entry into the mouth, it takes up the citrus theme with blond orange, mandarin and a drop of lime, ginger, liquorice root, bitter cocoa and espresso. Nutmeg is the leitmotif of the dram, more evident on the finish together with a nice salinity.
The finish is quite long and dry, savory, of licorice, white pepper, ginger, citrus, cocoa.

An unusually tame Pedro Ximénez cask, which doesn’t cover but enhances the distillate in a dram that is classic but not lacking in points of interest, with that salinity that pushes you dangerously to salivate and drink.

Reviews of Linkwood whisky in the blog:
Dràm Mòr Linkwood 10yo


Càrn Mòr Pulteney 2011 (9yo)

Origin: Highlands (Scotland)
Type: Single Malt Scotch Whisky
Gradation: 47.5%ABV
Ageing cask: Ex-Bourbon barrel
Chillfiltered: No
Added coloring: No
Owner: Morrison Distillers
Average price: € 55,00
Official website: www.morrisondistillersbottlings .com
Vote: 85/100

Straw yellow in the glass.
The nose is nice and full, with impressions of fat cheese on peach skin, apple, salted caramel, vanilla, paraffin. Buttery.
The palate confirms the initial impressions with a substantial oily coating, speckled with ginger and pepper, on liquorice root, malt, yellow fruit (unripe banana, peach, apple), bitter orange, a slight herbaceous touch in the background. Very saline, especially along the length, with touches of rhubarb.
The finish is quite long and saline, slightly herbaceous, with citrus, liquorice, rhubarb, wax.

The company’s only Bourbon-aged whisky and perhaps one of the most interesting, on account of its firmness and butteriness, which may not express itself immediately and takes time to become noticed, but deserves more than a taste.

Reviews of Old Pulteney whisky in the blog:
Old Pulteney 12yo

Reviews of Càrn Mòr whisky in the blog:
Càrn Mòr Bunnahabhain 2004
Càrn Mòr Imperial 1989
Càrn Mòr Mortlach 2007 (13yo)

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