Caisteal Chamuis: Heavily peated malt from Scottish islands

Whisky from Skye, Islay and Orkney characterise the blended malt


With two editions of the Caisteal Chamuis, Marussia Beverages and Mossburn Distillers have launched a new whisky label. The heavily peated whiskys are available at special retailers on several international markets. On the one hand there is the Caisteal Chamuis Blended Malt Scotch Whisky without an age statement, and on the other hand the Caisteal Chamuis 12 Years Old Sherry Finished.

One without age statement, one 12 years old, but both very smoky

Married from single malts from the islands of Islay, Skye and Orkney, the no-age-statement-whisky for the Caisteal Chamuis was finished in first-fill bourbon barrels. According to the producer’s news,the use of first-fill bourbon barrels creates a character that gradually reveals itself: at the start, elegant peat without ever being medicinal, then honey-peppery with the complexity of sweet spices and a creamy vanilla finish. Knowing that this company is also behind the single malts of the new Torabhaig Distillery on Skye, it is not difficult to speculate about the origin of the whisky portion of Skye.

For the 12-year-old Caisteal Chamuis 12 Years Old Sherry Finished, only single malts from Islay and Orkney were used. First matured for at least 12 years, then finished in first-fill Oloroso Sherry Butts, it appears rich and elegant with a complex peat smelling of heather and subtle lavender scent, Mossburn Distillers say and that the fascinating floral complexity gives way to the sweet muscovado notes before it finally develops into a finish of concentrated sherry, candied fruit and a hint of flint notes. Both whiskies are bottled at 46% vol, uncoloured and without chill filtration

Caisteal Chamuis - Castle Camus - Knock Castle

The assumption that the name of the new whisky is Gaelic is obvious: "Caisteal Chamuis" is the Gaelic name of the old fortress, the ruins of which are within sight of the Torabhaig Distillery on the headland of the eastern flank of Knock Bay. Built by the McLeod clan, probably in the 14th century, it was later conquered by the McDonalds and expanded.

If the pronunciation of Caisteal Chamuis, which is somehow like "Kash-tel Ham-osh", is too complicated, the English version Castle Camus can be chosen. The castle is known today more as Knock Castle because of its location in Knock Bay. The castle has not been inhabited since the 17th century and its stones were used to build houses in the surrounding region.

"Not inhabited" is not quite exact, there have been sightings of ghosts people say. Unfortunately, it is not reported whether the often mentioned „Green Lady“ showed up at the release of the Caisteal Chamuis.

Image: Mossburn Distillers