Origin: Isle of Islay (Scotland)
Type: Single Malt Scotch Whisky
Ageing casks: Ex-Bourbon, finished in ex-Moscatel Wine
Added coloring: Yes
Average price: € 65.00
Official website: www.malts.com
We return to a Distillers Edition, following the Cragganmore one from some time ago.
As with all bottlings in this annual edition, the undisclosed length finish takes place in casks that have previously contained wine, in this case Spanish Moscatel.
Muscatel is a sweet, fortified white wine, also used in the production of Sherry and Málaga, made from grapes from Andalusia in southern Spain.
Being an edition produced over several years, opinions and online reviews are scattered and not organic, making it difficult to understand the differences between one bottling and another.
I would think that they are more or less aligned with each other, being treated as a fixed part of the portfolio of the giant Diageo which, rightly, cares about presenting a certain coherence and continuity between the various bottles.
Having based this article on a sample, the photo chosen from the web doesn’t necessarily represent the bottle under review.
The year is that of bottling, the distillation took place in 2006, maintaining the classic 12-year ageing.
The colour is golden yellow, unfortunately artificially obtained.
The nose is unusually sweet for a Caol Ila, full of sultanas, marzipan, cinnamon and honey galore, so much so that it almost hides the smoke of Islay, overwhelmed by this pastry blanket. The wine has left a very strong impression, a pity we don’t know how long the whisky has been exposed to it.
The mouthfeel on the palate still sees the smoke struggling to emerge from the cake, and after a few moments it finally climbs to the podium, but holding onto the honey in which it is immersed. On the lit fireplace the same scents of the nose burn, with the addition of a little candied fruit and a touch of saltiness, which gradually fade into the background leaving ample space for the peat, which wears the sweet duster very nonchalantly. The marriage is not exactly successful, the vinous influence is there but after the initial explosion it becomes little more than a frill.
In the not-so-long finish ash and a touch of spice remain, the Muscatel seems to have returned to Spain a little disappointed.
Messy and inconstant, this bottling disappointed me failing to fuse the soul of Caol Ila with that of Spain, crushed almost entirely by the strength of Islay.
A curious variation on the theme, but nothing more.
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 Moch
Caol Ila Natural Cask Strength
Càrn Mòr Vertical
Chapter 7 Monologue Caol Ila 2012
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