Caol Ila 15, 2006-2022, 53.3% – Michiel Wigman ‘They Inspired III’

In the third year of Michiel Wigman’s independent bottling carreer, the labels veered towards whisky icons, in this case showcasting Geert Bero from Belgium. You might know him from several festivals, Oldies & Goldies Whisky and Hotel Bero in Oostende. Of course, the label is illustrated by Hans Dillesse.

Image from Best of Wines

Anyway, with the name of Michiel Wigman come expectations, and with a Caol Ila you expect those expectations to be met. It’s such a consistent distillery with a very idiosyncratic style that I also happen to love. Let’s dive in!

An interesting combination of lighter lemony notes, combined with a rather heavy engine grease nose. A heavy smokiness that’s really machine like. Like heavy diesel machinery, There’s coastal scents behind that. Marram grass and sandy beaches.

The palate is not too intense. There’s a bit of bite from the alcohol, but it’s not hot. Some sawdust and oak shavings, there are bonfires on the beach and old engines too. Smoke, but with a slightly creamy note behind it. Not as much as with some other Caol Ilas though, it’s rather timid on that front.

The finish is a very smoky one. There’s a sooty quality to it, so slightly greasy and sticky as well. Which could be the creamy, engine grease thing that Caol Ila has going for it anyway.

This is a big whisky. Very modern, but with some age to it. As in, there’s a lot of younger Caol Ila out there that has a similar smokiness, but these lack the depth this one has. Good stuff indeed!


Still available through Dutch Whisky Connection and Best of Wines for € 175-ish


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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