Blind Tasting Competition 17 – Caol Ila 1982-2006, 26yo, 54.3% – Duncan Taylor Rare Auld

I got points! 35 of them to be precise. Taking my own analysis from yesterday seriously, I analyzed each bit of the whisky separately. While it didn’t get me anywhere serious, it did get me a lot of points compared to any of the other days. I believe there’s only one or two days that I got 40 or so, so it’s almost a personal high score.

Based on the flavour I sent myself to the wrong distillery, Laphroaig instead of Caol Ila, but scoring a bit does make me happy. If only I did this since the beginning, right?

Caol Ila 26. Image from Whiskybase

Caol Ila 26. Image from Whiskybase

I got lemongrass right off the bat, and smoke. Laphroaig it was (to me at least). It isn’t too sweet and has a scent of sand, and marram reeds (the brown grass on sand dunes next to the sea). Some charcoal too and it isn’t too strong, but cask strength.

It’s full and rich, with sweet lemon. After a couple of seconds I get oak, and black pepper and chili pepper. It’s rather sharp, above 50% abv. Some soot, smoke, grass and a touch of salt.

The finish is a tad less heavy on the grass. It’s a bit sweeter  with more oak. I also get some barley now and it lasts pretty long.

The lemon and grass combination sends me to Laphroaig right away. The strength I settled for on some 53% to 54%. Then I started looking at Whiskybase. Didn’t have a clue to specifics but I didn’t expect the age to be ridiculously high.

When I saw it was Caol Ila it surprised me since I didn’t get any of that typical greasy Caol Ila-ness. The age was just as big a surprise since it still was a pretty sharp dram, and that doesn’t happen with every cask at 26 years old.

In the end I got 20 points for the region, and 15 for being close on the ABV. Let’s hope tonight brings some points again so we can go out with a minor bang. Or a pop. As long as it’s not a sizzle.

Laphroaig 14, 53.8%, Archives by Whiskybase. That’s what I filled in. What it was:

Caol Ila 1982-2006, 26yo, 54.3% – Duncan Taylor Rare Auld. Around € 110.

About Sjoerd de Haan-Kramer

I'm very interested in booze, with a focus on whisky. I like to listen to loads of music and play lots of Magic: the Gathering, and board games too. I'm married to Anneke, have two daughters Ot and Cato, a son Moos and a cat called Kikker (which means Frog, in Dutch). I live in Krommenie, The Netherlands.
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