The follow up bottling of the 12 year old I did earlier, and in another way the follow up to the Port Askaig Harbour 19 year old from about two years ago. That one wasn’t bottled at cask strength though.
I planned to review and write this earlier, but work got in the way and I barely spent any time at home apart from sleeping and showering. Now, with the misses and kid in bed I found some time to write some words on this new Caol Ila bottling from the parent company of The Whisky Exchange.
It’s fuller and gentler than the 12 year old. It has more wood to it, and the smoke is a bit more gentle. The herbs and spices have picked up a notch I think. More heathery and see weedy than I expected. There is some lingering sweetness behind it all.
I get sugar syrup and vanilla sugar. Some wood as well with pepper, salt and heather. There are some hot spices in there, but I can’t really pinpoint which. Thyme is there too, and that’s the direction I’m looking.
The finish loses the sweetness at first, but that comes back quickly and it turns a bit sticky on my lips even. Lots of sugar and vanilla. Lots of herbs too. The smoke is present through out it. The heather is rather pronounced too. At some point I wanted to write lavender, but I wasn’t sure.
This is a more delicious Caol Ila than I expected. Where the Port Askaig 12 is slightly better than the regular 12 (from the top of my head, I haven’t tasted that in years), this one takes everything up a notch. It never gets too alcoholic and the cask strength actually just adds flavour. So, great stuff!
On the website they state that the slight rise of ABV by 4 percent caused a huge rise in flavour intensity, and they’re right. I don’t know why they lost the ‘harbour’ in the name, however.
Port Askaig 19, 50.4%, Speciality Drinks Limited, available at The Whisky Exchange for £ 79.95.
Official sample provided by The Whisky Exchange.