ABV: 57.8% Distillery: Caol Ila Bottler: The Single Cask Region: IslayAge: 12
The most mainstream cask type from today’s selection of The Single Cask bottlings – a 12 year old Caol Ila matured in an ex-bourbon hogshead (#307362) – but perhaps not the most mainstream of profiles when all said and done. 144 bottles were produced and are available directly from The Single Cask shop for £65.
Nose: St Clements (oranges and lemons) in the form of oils and liqueurs. Vegetal peat smoke from moss and fern leaves mixes with lemon balm, white chocolate and vanilla cream. In the background, petrichor, bromine and a swipe of antiseptic cream. Dilution adds textural cues – candle wax, grease and ointment – together with pine needles and iodine.
Taste: The arrival is quite herbal indeed with sage, bergamot and steeped black tea. The development brings with it, more expected ashiness, coal dust, charcoal and medicinally-tinge smokiness alongside lemon curd and sunflower oil. Water introduces lemon barley water, orange bitters and dry oakiness.
Finish: Medium to long in length with charred cask heads, lemon vanilla cream and persisting medicinal smoke.
Diluted, this The Single Cask offering presents with a more typical Caol Ila profile. Straight out of the bottle, it’s notably left field with vegetal and herbal indications that, whilst tangential, still feel coherent with the overall profile of lemony medicinalness. Some people take distillate character ultra-seriously and do not always enjoy the deviations which single casks can and do offer. For those who enjoy those eccentricities – this Caol Ila has a few.
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