Caol Ila Distillery Island of Islay Scotland Whisky from 100 to 200 euros

Caol Ila 13yo Fèis Ìle 2023

Review of the cask strength version for the festival, in ex sherry

Origin: Isle of Islay (Scotland)
Type: Single Malt Scotch Whisky
Strength: 60.4%ABV
Ageing casks: Ex-Oloroso and PX sherry
Chillfiltered: No
Added coloring: No
Owner: Diageo
Average price: € 200.00
Official website: www.malts.com
Vote: 83/100

The Fèis Ìle on Islay began as a festival dedicated to the island and its people, celebrating its traditions, culture and local products, a kind of village festival but on a much larger scale.
In recent years, the focus has inevitably shifted to whiskies, a cornerstone of the island’s economy, with distilleries organising special events during the few days of the festival, creating special, limited bottlings.
Difficult to get a chance to try them without physically going to Islay, thanks to my little trip in early June I managed to get hold of a few samples, including this Caol Ila made for the Fèis, offered as a welcome dram at the start of the distillery tour: a little something light just to open the stomach!

A (very) cask strength edition, matured entirely in ex-sherry casks between oloroso first fill and seasoned Pedro Ximénez.

Tasting notes

The nose is quite fresh, the lack of alcohol leaves ample room for sweet and mineral notes, somewhat reminiscent of a cake with pine nuts, icing sugar, lemon cream and shortcrust pastry. The smoke rides on the mineral velleities in a vegetal and at times ferrous incarnation. A few slices of pineapple, peach and a touch of currant complete the picture, while a balsamic and menthol impression makes its way through the aromas. At length, the smoke becomes more consistent. Summery.
In the mouth, it reaffirms its sweet and mineral vocation, with some spicy touches of chilli pepper and ginger, while the peat extracts consistent saline and vegetal gusts. Lemon cream and (acidulous) red fruits return, accompanied by resin, toasted wood and balsamic veins.
The finish is not very long and balsamic, of salt, lemon and burnt wood.

While the alcohol content is excellently centered, the dram is rather monotonous and lacking in complexity: pleasant, balanced, but all in all flat.

Reviews of Caol Ila whisky

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