Caol Ila. Most thing of them as “that boring, newbies peated malt from Diageo”. While they are big, there are CI’s and there are CIs. the 12 yo is a staple dram, and ANY peat head has to go through that one at some part of his peat journey, but boy o boy, if you’re missing out on older aged CI’s you’re making a real mistake. This is not the first older CI I’ve had (some on the blog too), but it’s definably one of the better ones. Peat dies with age, but you loose some bite and gain a whole lot more, and boy they can be wonderful. Thanks again to Shai for this wee gem, which was part of his sample bomb a few weeks ago. Whisky is all about sharing, and this one is indeed worth sharing. You rock mate.
Let’s start sniffing.
Nose: It’s lovely. with enough peat, but not too much to overpower the other stuff that is going on there… Islay boat jetty, you get the tarry rope, the Iodine, the Kerosene, but you also get lovely wood varnish and a hint of exotics yet to come.
palate: Smoky and salty, to start with , then comes the exotic fruit salad that makes you want to say Hallelujah! (pineapple, papaya, kiwi), all quite sugared and lovely. Add some of the older wood, and a hint of varnish, and you’ve got all you need. yum
Finish: smoke,some peat, and those fruit.
Splendid stuff. This is what i mean by saying, older peated Islay ROCK. Check out Sjoerd’s excellent review (he got one sample too, the lucky guy!) here.