I don’t remember the last outturn to *not* feature Caol Ila – but no complaints from me, they’re usually consistently sound. Refill ex-bourbon hogshead for this 6 year old youngster. View on SMWS
Nose: Pancake batter, brown bread and smoky sea breeze alongside fish and chips drenched in vinegar and liberally seasoned with salt. Shellfish, lobster bisque and preserved meats are joined by seashells, brine and sharp and tart grapefruit juice. Water releases some toasted bread, plenty of iodine and ozone and cask influence in the form of creamy vanilla.
Taste: The arrival is incredibly ashy – a packed pub ashtray at the end of a very long evening – but, surprisingly everything is rather sweet with sugared lemon and grapefruit. Phenolic peat, bitumen and tar sit with brine, shale and coal dust. Reduction hints at the youthfulness of this Caol Ila with some residue rawness, but tempted by more lemons and a scattering of stone fruits.
Finish: Long with tarry ashy smoke.
To my mind, Caol Ila works well at an incredibly variety of ages – this youthful example delivers the powerful, unrestrained aromas and flavours you’d expect from the spirit at this sort of age. Big, punchy ashiness is the order of the day – plenty of peat, plenty of coastalness. Not quite the erection the bottle title implies, but entirely decent all the same.