I recently got a small parcel of samples from The Whisky Exchange, including yesterday’s Midleton 1991 and this new
Caol Ila Port Askaig 12. A not too new addition to their Port Askaig series which included a 17, 19 and 30 year old earlier in varying ABVs.
This 12 year old was already tried shortly at Maltstock, and now I got to try it properly and think about my early days of exploratory drinking. Back, when I was still in school and just stepped away from cheap blends and the first bottle of Glenfiddich 12.
Salt, smoke, peat and heather. There’s some machine oil and sand as well. Along with sea spray and a certain weight to it, I’d say this is one of the most straight forward Caol Ila bottlings out there.
I keep saying Caol Ila, because I cannot imagine it being anything else. It has that specific oiliness that I always associate with the distillery.
A little thin at first, but it builds up to some strength and spice. Peppery heather and smoke with coarse sea salt. It does get a bit sweeter after a few seconds to show some fruitiness and vanilla.
The finish is rather ‘normal’ for such a whisky. Medium length and dying on smoke and heather. Grass, straw and sea weed also come by again.
This is, as stated above, one of the most straight forward Caol Ila bottlings I have tasted in a long while. It proves how good a simple Caol Ila can be at a fairly young age. It also states that when Diageo had to decide which distillery to close in the early eighties, I can see this style making the cut above Port Ellen.
Good stuff, nothing too spectacular, but fairly priced and just a good ‘session whisky’, if such a thing is worth stating.
Port Askaig 12, 45.8%, Speciality Drinks Ltd., available at The Whisky Exchange for £ 43.95
Official sample provided by The Whisky Exchange.