Distillery: Caol Ila
Expression: The Distillers Edition
Age Statement: none
Extra Info: Batch 8-472. Finished in Moscatel Casks. Distilled in 2000, bottled in 2012.
So here we have a bit of a special Caol Ila. This Distillers Edition is finished in Moscatel casks, which is a sweet dessert wine. Interesting choice I’d say, not something I would quickly expect to see as a cask finish in an Islay whisky. However, I’ve heard good things about this, and to be honest I’ve so far liked the Distillers Editions from several distilleries.
Nose: Peat, obviously. Not that strong though, I’ve nosed peatier Caol Ila’s. A sweet note follows; sweet apples or even berries. Orange zest as well. The peat has a bit of an ashy note to it, like the ash from a coal fire. Slight spice, maybe cinnamon. A hint of vanilla and/or butter. Like the vanilla sauce you pour over a pastry. A salty tang at the end.
Taste: Slight peaty bitterness. Then sweet again. Fruity, vanilla like sweetness. I can’t really say I taste the Moscatel here. The peat gets stronger at the second sip. I must say I would have liked a bit more body here, or some kind of sharpness. It’s all very mellow, lacking a certain kick. Cinnamon spice again, but more on the sweet than on the spicy side.
Finish: Sweet and peaty. Because of the peat the finish isn’t that short, but I think without the peat it would have been almost non-existent. The fruity and vanilla sweetness here is nice, though, and the peat has lost its ‘ashy’ quality, which is a really good thing.
Overall: I’m not mad, I’m not angry. I’m just disappointed… But seriously, I feel that Caol Ila can do better than this. This is still a very enjoyable whisky, let’s get that straight, but this is definitely not the best effort the distillery has ever made. Good aromas and flavours, decent mouthfeel and complexity, but nothing really stands out and therefor nothing will stick.
Rating: 3 stars