We have talked to you about Caol Ila to no end (the register tells us that it is the most reviewed distillery on our blog, and the register is never wrong); we have also talked about Douglas Laing, as well as the separation between the two bottling brothers; we have also already told you about the Old Particular series, characterised by casks without filtration or colouring. In short, today we have the complex of the eternal return of the same and we bore ourselves. We could tell you about our dreams, our idiosyncrasies such as our fear of octopuses and molluscs with tentacles, of dithyrambs…. But we take pity on you and so we cut it short and pour dram matured for 10 years in a hogshead refill and bottled last year.
N: a very elegant, salty peat welcomes us and opens the French door to the sea. From here you can see (and smell) a beach: there is an unlit bonfire and some seaweed left there. Beyond the island character, a sweetness that is not complex but that we have already found in other Caol Ila in bourbons of similar age: liquid vanilla sugar, lime and a fresh green part, like aloe. With time the sensation grows: spearmint, aniseed. There is also an almost floral note, between scented icing sugar and a detergent, but in a positive way, even though it may seem impossible. Zero alcohol.
P: a very sweet and soft attack in which that floral touch reverberates: what if it were lavender? The greenness of the bouquet turns herbaceous (almost chicory, rocket) and connects with peat. Now it’s very smoky, more bonfire on the beach (someone must have rekindled it to sing Baglioni and try to make out). Still an acidic part of lime and lemon, great absence of sapidity. Very balanced. Maybe a touch of candied ginger (Haribo lemon and ginger candies), but not enough to make it seem too young.
F: crisp, smoky. Lots of vanilla and lots of pleasantness. In the long run, it leaves the sensation of grilled squid on the palate.
How many times, as true nerds with our noses in the air, have we said to ourselves, looking up at the sky with disapproval, “phew, another Caol Ila 10 years in bourbon”? Well, the fact is that, once again, this is an excellent product. We are always impressed by the consistency of the distillery, capable of maintaining an impressive average quality. We know, we always say the same things and you’ll get bored, but if you don’t like it, complain to the owners who always make whisky without defects. There are no flights of fancy here except for a discreet but pleasant touch of lavender, but a perfect recipe of peat, sea, sweetness (very pronounced) and drinkability. It may not be original, but it’s good. 87/100.
Recommended soundtrack: Pink Floyd – Comfortably numb, heard and reheard, but always exciting.