Caol Ila powered mythical cow creatures – I don’t even know where to begin – but the whisky comes from a refill hogshead laid down in 2007 and bottled 12 years later. 156 bottles at 48.5% were produced.
Nose: Lemon imbued floor cleaner and antiseptic cream provide a highly medicinal opener that is tempered by green apples, lemon verbena and desiccated coconut. Vegetable oil and pan fats add a rich ‘dirtiness’, whilst seashells and pebbles offer a chiselled minerality. Water offers petrichlor and ozone together with alluvial clays and asides of wet, sandy beaches.
Taste: An arrival full of ‘fattiness’ with greases and oils. Lemon oil, baked apples and a splash of pineapple juice sit with smoked langoustines, factory chimneys and building menthol and eucalyptus. Reduction introduces lemon Halls cough sweets, Vicks Vaporub and rocky, hewn cliffs. Medicinalness persists throughout with cleaning fluid and antibacterial wipes.
Finish: Long with bright sweet citric-led fruits played off against greasy, hospital-tinged peat influence.
The ABV selected for this Caol Ila is a perfect demonstration as to why not every bottling needs to be delivered at cask strength. The composition is keenly balanced to allow the inherent profile of the Caol Ila spirit ample room to express itself – whilst still delivering a wonderfully weighty mouthfeel throughout. Great judgement. Great whisky.