Google A Caol Ila spiel, part deux

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Hi, this is one of our (almost) daily tastings. Santé!

July 3, 2019


A Caol Ila spiel, part deux

Because we’ve really got a lot of them.

Caol Ila 7 yo 2012/2019 (60%, Claxton’s, hogshead, 285 bottles)

Caol Ila 7 yo 2012/2019 (60%, Claxton’s, hogshead, 285 bottles) Three stars and a half
Drink this or gas up WF’s Harley… Okay, drink this… Colour: white wine. Nose: lemon skins, walnut shells, fresh almonds, plus a little acetone and varnish, but that may be the almost homicidal strength. With water: well, some varnish remains there, together with some fresh white dough and notes of new T-shirt. It really is super-young. Mouth (neat): some immaculate eau-de-vie-ish baby Caol Ila. It is not fully mature, but in a way, that’s an asset. Smoked pears can rock! With water: the pears are resisting and the whole remains pretty new-make-y. Nothing wrong with that as long as the make’s a good as Caol Ila’s, but we’re not quite in whisky territories here. Finish: long, with a little more vanilla. Smoked tea, fresh bitter almonds and custard. Comments: very good, but really very young. Perhaps as a high-ball prepared by an Islay geisha? (don’t shoot, just a figure of speach!)
SGP:547 - 83 points.

Caol Ila 2007/2019 (53.2%, The Finest Malts, City Landmarks, bourbon, cask #24)

Caol Ila 2007/2019 (53.2%, The Finest Malts, City Landmarks, bourbon, cask #24) Four stars and a half
This by some very cool new young bottlers. Like it that they would have used proper original photographs and not just plundered old illustrated encyclopedias (or 1950s soft porn magazines and comics ;-)). Colour: white wine. Nose: yes! A perfect young wooly/muddy CI, with the usual coastal side (opening the windows early in the morning, near the sea), plus some floral touches and a cup of cold lapsang souchong. A touch of fusel too, glycerin, hand cream… With water: we’re at a laundry, and that’s cool. Mouth (neat): excellent, pristine, smoky/salty upfront, with these lovely acidic notes, between lime and green apples. Not ‘just another young CI’. With water: it is unusual indeed. Lime, sorrel, cress, almond milk, oat, kippers, touches of prickly pears… It’s all pretty much in sync. Finish: medium, with this almondy sweetness that’s very CI in my book. Notes of blood oranges and a little Demerara sugar in the aftertaste, as well as a drop of mint cordial. Comments: super.
SGP:556 - 88 points.

Caol Ila 14 yo 2004/2018 (53.7%, Maltbarn, sherry cask)

Caol Ila 14 yo 2004/2018 (53.7%, Maltbarn, sherry cask) Four stars and a half
Colour: white wine. Nose: there’s less sherry in there than there is poetry in Donald T.’s mouth. Rather graphite, tarry ropes, hessian, fresh almonds, charcoal, paraffin, and acacia gum. Not your average middle-aged CI, but hold on, could this be the sherry speaking out? With water: I think not, for there are rather lovely herbal teas, a seafood platter, and a drop of Woolite. Mouth (neat): excellent sharp and pungent Caol Ila, with fantastic smoky lemons and the subtlest green teas of China. Love this greenness, with these herbs that are sometimes to be found in proper peaters, such as cress, spinach or sorrel. With water: yep yep yep (now that was useful, S.!) Finish: rather long, on candied citrus and touches of bitter herbal liqueurs. Unicum? A sweeter touch in the aftertaste, could that be the sherry? Comments: the most elusive sherry cask ever. Not sure we should file a complaint, what do you think?
SGP:456 - 89 points.

Caol Ila 10 yo 2008/2019 (53.5%, Valinch & Mallet, bourbon hogshead, 325 bottles)

Caol Ila 10 yo 2008/2019 (53.5%, Valinch & Mallet, bourbon hogshead, 325 bottles) Four stars
From their ‘Young Masters Collection’. Well, not too sure about that, last time I was at the distillery, looked like all workers were seasoned professionals… Except the ladies, naturally, as for reasons we cannot explain, the ladies seem to remain eternally young on Islay. Colour: pale white wine. Nose: brake fluid, oysters, almond milk, smoked fish, lemon juice, lime. With water: a tad more on porridge and stuff, barley, smoked bread, hints of pears… Mouth (neat): it really is some distillate, is it not. Bright, tense, blade-y, lemony, slightly earthier than others, all is good once again. With water: prototypical young Caol Ila. Salt, lemons, almonds, fish, seashells, ashes. Finish: rather long, rather briny. The pears strike back in the aftertaste. Comments: as excellent as expected, maybe just a wee tad young(ish). Isn’t time’s duty to eradicate any notes of pears in whisky? We should do a T-shirt saying ‘no pears in my whisky’. One day…
SGP:556 - 86 points.

I think we’ll try some rather older CIs tomorrow, or perhaps not, stay tuned…

More tasting notesCheck the index of all Caol Ila we've tasted so far


WF Favourites
Whiskyfun fav of the month

June 2019

Serge's favourite recent bottling this month:
Port Ellen 39 yo 1978/2018 (50.9%, OB, Untold Stories series, 1500 bottles) - WF 92

Serge's favourite older bottling this month:
Port Ellen 25 yo 1982/2007 (52%, Old Bothwell for Jens Steinert) - WF 91

Serge's favourite bang for your buck this month:
Port Askaig 10 yo (55.85%, Elixir Distillers, 10th Anniversary, 10,000 bottles, 2019)  - WF 89

Serge's favourite malternative this month:
Bellevue 20 yo 1998/2019 (58.8%, Hunter Laing, Kill Devil for The Whisky Barrel, Guadeloupe, 245 bottles)  - WF 91

Serge's Lemon Prize this month:
Glen Breton 14 yo 'Rare' (43%, OB, Canada, single malt, +/-2018)  - WF 49







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