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Caol Ila Distillery Dramfool Independent Bottlers Island of Islay Scotland

Dramfool Cola Ali 5

Review of Dramfool's fifth limited bottling of an 'unknown' Islay whisky.

Origin: Isle of Islay (Scotland)
Type: Single Malt Scotch Whisky
Gradation: 58%ABV
Ageing barrel: Ex-Bourbon and ex-Sherry PX hogshead first fill
Chillfiltered: No
Added coloring: No
Owner: Dramfool
Average price: € 99.00
Official website: dramfool.com
Vote: 91/100

I return to Bruce Farquhar and his ‘crazy drams’, single casks from various Scottish distilleries, sometimes declared, sometimes not as in this case (but easily guessed).

Like its brother 4 I mentioned a while ago, here we are with an Islay distilled in 2008 and aged 11 years, including an unspecified finishing time in ex-Pedro Ximénez casks, which produced 160 cask strength bottles and presented as Dramfool’s 26th bottling.
Thanks again to Bruce for the generous sample.

Tasting notes

Amber in the glass.
Delightfully acrid and saline on the nose, smoky sea peat, with a sweet vein that dilutes the harshness of the aromas bringing rivers of liquorice, dark chocolate, candied oranges, toasted hazelnuts, dried dates and firewood. Intense and penetrating, it also reveals a hint of pine needles and bark which, together with a waxy background note, lightens the tones. Paprika punch. It presents itself with a continuous evolution, alternating the acrid aspect of peat with a sweet and balsamic one, very intriguing.
Dense and oily on the palate, it tingles with chilli powder on the lit logs with herring and skewers of tropical fruit, more liquorice and chocolate, citrus, toasted nuts, resin. Rich and energetic, almost muscular, the alcohol content leaves little room for the sophistication of the nose and hits you with a punch of peat, requiring commitment and patience in tasting. Sulphurous tobacco veins.
The finish is very long, with cigar ash, hazelnuts, liquorice, salt and citrus. The glass reminds one of the gentler initial impressions, almost like a mockery that invites one to try again.

This is a whisky that isn’t easy to approach, attracting the nose into a peaty trap that almost takes your breath away. The Sherry cask has worked more on the nose than on the palate, and perhaps all things considered this is a good thing, leaving the roughness of the distillate free to express its power. Complex and fun, not for the faint-hearted.

Reviews of Caol Ila whisky 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 Natural Cask Strength
Càrn Mòr Vertical
Dramfool Cola Ali 4
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

Reviews of Dramfool whisky in the blog:
Dramfool Ben Nevis 1996
Dramfool Carsebridge 1976
Dramfool Cola Ali 4
Dramfool Invergordon 31yo
Dramfool Malt Can Heal 1992
Dramfool North British 30yo
Dramfool Sly Lichen 10yo

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