About two weeks ago I got a package in the mail with whisky samples from Israel. Not Israeli whisky, since that doesn’t exist yet, but random samples. It was sent to me by Shai Applbaum, a recently ‘acquired’ Facebook and Twitter mate who knows his way around a dram.
This weekend I decided to taste all four of them in the given order. The samples were unmarked apart from a number, so I tasted them blind. Some funny results will follow. Not today though. This whisky was very easy to recognize since Caol Ila has some iconic flavours that were all present. Dead giveaway!
Pretty peaty, but it takes about 10 second to get it wafting. The first sniff was only ‘lightly peated’ but that ‘lightly’ was scratched quickly! So it’s smoky, but there’s also milk and engine oil, ropes, iodine. It’s slightly floral behind all that with toast and sun flower seeds. The barley is present as well with the slightest hint of creme brulee.
Not really sharp (I didn’t know the age of this when tasting it), but cask strength. Smoke and salt. Some oak, wax, barley, straw. All this, but it stays rather clean. Really nice!
The finish adds some spices and fruits and lasts pretty long.
This is a very good Caol Ila. One of the better ones I’ve tasted lately, actually. 27 years in the cask has mellowed this one a little bit so it’s fairly easily drinkable at 56.1%, which is very nice. The nose has a lot of complexity and shows the characteristics usually associated with Caol Ila. I love the oiliness and the touch of milk on the nose. This reminded me why I was such a Caol Ila fan when I started drinking whisky!
Caol Ila 27yo, 1984-2012, 56.1%, bottled by Signatory for La Maison du Whisky in Paris.
Thanks for the sample, Shai!