So far only really old Caol Ila has managed to truly impress me. That’s not to say that the one I’m reviewing today is very young. At 19 years of age this Caol Ila is already legal and just shy of entering its second decade. Certainly old enough to transform a young spirit into a mature and well-rounded whisky. Add to that the excellent reputation of indie bottler Maltbarn. This is an exciting release.
Caol Ila 1995/2014 (52,8%, Maltbarn, 226 bts.)
Nose: Very clean and fresh with subtle peat and wood smoke. Some freshly cut apples, vanilla, banana and orange make this very pleasant indeed. Some farmy notes and a bit of seaside saltiness balance out the nose. Taste: Smooth, oily and peaty. Some wood influences make it a bit dry, but never too much. Some herbs including aniseed and mint. Also cloves, lemon and vanilla. Not overly complex, but never boring. Finish: Long, ashy and lemony.
A very good and enjoyable Caol Ila. If I’d be nitpicking, then I’d say that it lacks a little bit of depth.