Origin: Isle of Islay (Scotland)
Type: Single Malt Scotch Whisky
Ageing barrels: Ex-Bourbon
Added coloring: No
Average price: € 140.00
Official website: www.malts.com
Let’s go back to Port Askaig for another version of Caol Ila, discontinued by Diageo, this time “cask strength” and all natural: no colouring and, being a cask strength, no chillfiltration.
I had the chance to taste it in a pub in Vicenza, which has an interesting selection of whiskies.
Several cask strength versions of Caol Ila have been released over time, without the Natural label or with a declared age, to the point that it becomes difficult to find the bottle you are actually looking for.
The advice is always to go to a ‘physical’ retailer, where you can not only see the bottles in person but also get advice.
Online prices are often tempting, but if you are looking for a particular bottling there is a real risk of making a mistake, and not all of them present really comprehensive and complete information sheets: if Amazon attracts you with its free shipping and its discounts, it certainly does not have the competence and completeness of an actual whisky shop.
The colour is light gold, very light.
On the nose, the alcohol is unexpectedly subdued, leaving all the space for peat and its fleshy fumes. Petit biscuit, vanilla, a touch of spice and apple, very marked marine notes: young but not exuberant, even too much so I would say.
The alcoholic strength explodes at the first sip, but without sinking its fangs: a nice push to the burning wood, watered by splashes of ocean with more apple, citrus, licorice stick and a distinct bitter note. Sprinkle of black pepper. Not very complex, quite static in its aromas and always a little too compact for a cask strength.
The finish is of used ashtray, pepper, bitter salt, of medium length.
Much more drained than I expected, but I suspect the bottle might have been open for a long, long time: after all, in a pub it’s hard to ask for a bottling like this very often.
Be that as it may, I found it very, very young on the one hand, not very incisive on the other.
Other bottlings in the blog:
A&G Rare Cask Selection Caol Ila 10yo
Caol Ila 12yo
Caol Ila 18yo
Caol Ila 18yo Unpeated 2017
Caol Ila Distillers Edition 2018
Caol Ila Moch
Dramfool Cola Ali 4
Dramfool Cola Ali 5
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
Best Shot Whisky